This is rather convoluted, so bear with me. But first, is George not the cutest? He had to help teach Sunday School this morning, and I promise you, he really did have socks on when he left the house.
Along with my Emily, and my friend Jean Asinger, and sometimes George’s godmother, Danielle, we teach the class for all the non-Catholic-School kids preparing for First Holy Communion – mostly second graders but ranging from first grade up through late elementary school. We have a few homeschoolers who join us irregularly, but our official group is 27.
Our official curriculum is Faith and Life. If you do that at home, you know that there’s NO WAY to get through one or two whole chapters a week in 90 minutes with 27 or more children, many of whom have academic, behavioral or family issues.
But there’s so much I want these wonderful children to know and learn as they prepare for their sacraments. I have to remind myself every week to slow down and think about what’s truly essential about our Catholic faith for them to carry in their hearts… which is why I LOVE teaching this class: I therefore have to think about what’s truly essential about our Catholic faith for me to carry in MY heart.
We try to balance kinesthetic learning and memorization…. so today, for example, they all made Advent wreath hats (which more than 20 of my students wore to 10:30 Mass 🙂 !) and most of them also memorized the five essential steps to making a good confession. You know, some of my total non-readers are my best at memory work… so many have shared with me over the years about their struggles in school-school… it’s awesome for them to have a chance to excel at something academic sometimes…
Someday, when I am all done with my cancer treatment and life is back to its usual busy but manageable routine, I want to start a Catechesis of the Good Shepherd program at our church. Danny’s school-school teacher from last year is a teacher trainer and would help me, I’m sure.
But meanwhile, what does this all have to do with lasagna? Let’s see. I had chemotherapy Thursday, so I’m pretty wiped out and hurting. George has surgery tomorrow morning. I had this great idea that I was going to make a lasagna this afternoon, when I had plenty of time, so that tomorrow afternoon I could just pop it in the oven for supper.
So I was walking through the grocery store thinking about my class, and how it teaches me about holding the essentials in our hearts, and I realized that making lasagna was NOT an essential. Sitting still and healing is essential. So tomorrow my family is having hot dogs, green beans and apples for supper. Brian and Danny can make it all by themselves. Not that we don’t love lasagna…. and in my class, it’s not that I wouldn’t love to have time to read every word in the textbook with every child… but some days Advent wreath hats and taking a nap just have to take precedence.