He’s almost as good as Santa Claus

I just finished a long-overdue letter to a friend of mine in the convent, and, knowing she enjoys sharing stories of the kids with the other sisters, I included some recent vignettes. One in particular, from St. Patrick’s Day, felt like such a microcosm of life with the two older kids. Behold:

[After our 12th reading of Tomie dePaola’s Patrick: Patron Saint of Ireland, Lucia decides it would be a worthy and appropriate idea to say a prayer to St. Patrick before bed. So we settle deeper into the couch, and she takes it away.]

Lucia, with gusto: “Patrick. We LOVE you!”

Me: [….?]

Lucia: And you are in heaven! Please help us to be good, and to be like Jesus!

Me: [patting myself on the back]

Lucia: “And to keep our room clean!”

Me: [oh.]

Lucia: “And to get a dog!”

Felix, finding his chance: “And to get a cat! NO! But we CANNOT get a cat because it might scratch us! And we cannot get a dog because it might EAT US!!”

Lucia, unfazed: “And keep Uncle Chris safe, and to always have enough food.”

Felix: “A dog might eat us!!”

Lucia: “AMEN.”

Felix: [SOBS, RENDING OF HAIR AND GARMENTS] “NOO!!!! I NOT FINISHED YET!!!!”

Me, over sobs: “Ok!! What else do you want to pray for!”

Felix, through snot: “And, and, and, pweez, that Wucia not say ‘no’ to me–”

Lucia: [begins to squirm uncomfotably at the new direction he’s taking this]

Felix: “–and that she MUST say, ‘I’m sorry.'”

Me: “Amen.”

Felix: “Amen!”

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