Prayers for Abigail

Tomorrow morning (Wednesday, March 21 at 9:15 AM, to be exact) Abigail is going to be welcoming beautiful Baby Clare into the world. This will be her fifth c-section. As a fellow member of the multiple c-section club, I know the pre-op anxiety all too well. Please join me in praying for mama and baby and in welcoming another miraculous life. St Gerard, St Gianna Molla, St Clare, Our Lady of La Leche y buen parto, orate pro nobis!

8 Responses to Prayers for Abigail

  1. Melanie Bettinelli March 26, 2012 at 8:22 am #

    Bearing, I have been pondering that very thing of late. I know many of my friends with kids Bella’s age let them watch movies and expose them to much more pop culture. I think my reasons for resisting are as much about protecting the little ones from that influence as continuing to shield Bella’s own interior life. But at some point, of course, I will want her to start to encounter that wider world of media.

    I’m not sure how we’ll navigate that change. It may be that we will have to compromise some. I know Anthony already eats much more sweets than Bella did at his age. It is harder to restrict cookies and cake and candy when all the others are eating them.

    I just know that I haven’t yet reached the point where I feel like Bella is missing out by never having watched a feature length movie and by only knowing of Disney princesses via her cousins and not from firsthand experience. They have a little Belle figurine that a cousin gave them and they call her simply “Princess”. They make up their own stories about her and I much prefer that to endless retellings of Disney’s retelling of Beauty and the Beast.

  2. Mary March 26, 2012 at 10:07 am #

    Melanie, I’m curious re: homeschooling—do you have to contact the department of education regarding your intent to homeschool?  Or do you just not register your child at all?

  3. Sally Thomas March 26, 2012 at 10:14 am #

    I was going to say what Bearing says:  I have teenagers and primary-aged kids in the same house, as you know, and it is a lot harder to keep out media influences, though as the older kids have been homeschooled, too, most of their lives, their taste in pop culture is . . . limited, shall we say. My 9-year-old does spend more time than I might have chosen listening to Coldplay and Pink Floyd, because his teenaged brother, with whom he shares a room, listens to music constantly, and that’s a lot of what he listens to. On the other hand, my youngers are connoisseurs of Jeeves and Wooster, as in the tv series, because the olders are addicted to it. On yet another hand, the olders taught the youngers how to find Scooby Doo and the Beverley Hillbillies on YouTube, so we have that, too . . .  I do severely limit video exposure, because my younger kids have no internal off-switch, and when my college student is away, I can usually keep things under control. When she was home at Christmas, though, there was a 24-hour moviefest going on in her room daily (not *every* day, but lots of days, especially towards the end), which was either kid-movies, so the youngers were rooted to the spot, or was older-kid/adult fare which the youngers were turning themselves inside-out to get in and see, which was tiresome.

    But that’s incidental to your point. It’s hard to keep out the media stuff entirely (fortunately, “media” for us is confined to what we can do on computers), but in general, I think your instinct towards the quiet and space, especially interior mental and spiritual space, which homeschooling provides, is right on. I actively structure my younger kids’ days so that they will have a LOT of open time during which screens are not an option (and yes, we do have fights and tears about this, and I do get told that I am the least-fun mother in the entire neighborhood). And while I don’t limit their peer interactions much, and they do have lots of friends whose lives revolve around tv, my hope is that the core of our home and the way we live makes their imaginative world larger than the Disney Channel (please God!).

    And no, Bella’s not missing out. Or, to put it another way, I wish more kids we know were missing out in the same way.

  4. Bearing March 26, 2012 at 1:49 am #

    It might be instructive to brainstorm ways that the older kids can enjoy media appropriate to their age without overexposing the younger kids. 

    Part of the problem is that of course it is always recommended, and with good reason, to have the tv and computer be in public living areas of the home rather than in bedrooms.  This makes it hard to keep the little ones away!

    Ideas?

  5. scotch meg March 26, 2012 at 6:57 am #

    In our current home, the TV lives in a separate room.  Not a basement or bedroom, but a separate room.  So the littler people can and do get shut out.  But one of the things that conrols the bigger people is that it is rude to always be watching something that the little people can’t watch.  Helps a lot.  We do try to focus on “after bedtime” – but that’s with an 11 yo following 4 who are now 16 and up.  Won’t help much with range when you have an oldest who is 11.  I can’t even remember clearly what I did then – mostly I restricted what the oldest one did.  No guilt, either – she could watch 30’s-50’s comedies which bored the littler kids, and it helped form her taste so that she liked better dialogue.  And by that point (she was my one all-school child) she was watching stuff at friends’ homes.  It was always a balancing act between the stuff friends’ parents permitted and the niceness of the kids and parents.  Oddly, the kid whose parents permitted the worst TV/movie stuff was also the kid who would still play dress-ups in 6th grade – but only with my daughter, and only at our house.

  6. Bearing March 26, 2012 at 7:17 am #

    Nope.  She is developing a rich interior life, and I don’t see any reason why crowding out her own inspirations with pop culture would be better.

    A word of caution.  I, too, have four children, ranging from 11 to 2.  It is more difficult to shelter the youngest ones from all that exterior media, because they live in the same house with their older siblings who have already started to take that in.  (My current, fourth two year old watches about 10 times as many cartoons as my first two year old did—I had the will to keep the screen mostly off when there were only small children in my house, but I don’t now that there are bigger ones around).  I am not saying it is impossible to ward those influences off—we could have made the choice not to have Netflix or to buy kid-vies from iTunes or to have a DVD player, for example—but you might want to prepare for and plan ahead if you want to maintain a tranquil and relatively unspoiled interior life for your younger children even after your older children start to encounter a wider world of media.

  7. Melanie Bettinelli March 27, 2012 at 8:12 am #

    Mary, Yes, in Massachusetts you have to file a letter of intent with your local school district. Different districts follow up with various requirements as far as what they want to know: an overview of curriculum, book lists, portfolio review, report cards, testing, etc. I’m not sure what our district requires. To the best of my knowledge we’re the only homeschoolers in our town. This according to our head librarian and I rather assume any other homeschoolers would probably have made themselves known at the library, you know.

  8. Suzanne March 27, 2012 at 9:55 am #

    It is interesting to read these comments, since we are planning on homeschooling. I have a 1 and a half year old and another on the way. I’ve been letting my son watch some things when I need to get something done, but these comments remind me not to rely on TV/ movies. It also brings into focus the question of “how much media am I consuming?”

    I grew up in a large homeschooling family. Mom was very strict with what the older kids were watching, but it broke down a little with the younger ones. For example: The first Lord of the Rings movie was coming out and my seven year old sister was going crazy with hearing us talk about it. She finally brought the books to me and told me to read them to her. After we finished them, she was allowed to watch the movie on DVD, if she closed her eyes at scary parts (which we told her about). That was the end of super strict TV/DVD viewing for the younger kids.

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