Novices knocking on our door…

…and so they did!

That visit I wrote about? Well, this past Saturday was the day!

We had ten Novice brothers and their Novice Master, Father James Sullivan, come to visit at our house.  They dropped in to see us, as promised, on their way back up the St. Gertrude’s.  We spent the morning prepping what we could (because some things just can’t be spiffed up in a jiffy, like the balls stuck way up in the high roof gutters…)  Little Gabey was beside himself with excitment, literally bouncing and careening around the house all morning.  They showed up later than expected; once again reinforcing the fact that Dominicans do things their own way (which is part of their unique charm, seriously).  Gabey started some serious whining and sulking and I have to admit to a bit of pacing myself.

Finally, they arrived! Literally, knocking on our door at the same time that Gabey ran out to jump them and we all felt time freeze for just a half second.  Then I ran, (yes, literally) out to see them and ran smack into Peter Joseph for a huge hug.  Maybe a tear or two but all simple grinning clapping happy. I hugged each and every Novice.  They hugged me back.  I hugged Fr. James and whispered my thanks into his ears.  Then they all were tugged and hugged and hustled into the house and more hello’s were said and hugs were passed around.

We sat, we visited, they munched on cheese and fruit and crackers and salami and devoured MamaDo’s brownies and lemonade and iced tea was poured.  Jokes were cracked, stories were told.  Small boys dragged big ones in habits out to play basketball.  Rooms were wandered.

Quiet, private long conversations were impossible but that wasn’t the point of this visit.  This visit was a particular sort of gift.  This visit was to soak in the presence of each other….

…to see the brothers interact, josh, joke, hang out with each other and us too.  To touch base and touch habit, literally.  To feast our, my, eyes on my boy and my other boys by extension…..for I feel something like a mom to them too.  I looked at them with “mom eyes” and hugged them with “mom arms” and got them brownies and milk and coffee just like I do happily for my own.  I’m putting up all our pics, just so you moms and families (if you’re out there) can scour them for your sweet sons….That’s what I’d do too!

Brother Edmund has his eyes on the cheese and crackers…..

Br Allen playing basketball w/ Little Man

Br. Timothy playing with ball with Gabe and Anthony

If any of  you other Novice Mom’s of these boys by chance read this blog…..thank you for sharing your son with us for a few  hours.  It was a pure gift.  And know that I tried to give them a hug with your love in it and a snack with the same care  you might.  I saw them and listened to what they said and what they didn’t say.  And this is what I saw and heard:  These  young men, they are so good.  They are happy.  They are well.  Extrapolating our from my son, and applying to yours:  They have grown into themselves.  They are more themselves,  in a fuller deeper way.  They seemed very bonded together as a community; they seem very ready for first vows.  They are totally ready and excited to see all of their family’s in a month too!  It is so good. It is all good.  I hugged them all again, stand in mom, as they got in the car.  They have phenomenal manners.  And Fr. James is one of the most gracious men I’ve met.

Marta especially loves Fr. James

But, they all left smiling, for what it’s worth.

My stupid grin was on my face all afternoon and softened into a tired happy one later that night.  But it filled my and our hearts.  It gave us all a chance to connect that was everything. Everything.

Two hours, of jokes and hugs and smiles and brownies and wild children scrambling around these great young men.  Bliss.  I am so.  Very. Grateful.

Jumping for Joy

So I got some fantastic exciting news today.  I was literally jumping for joy and yup, might have cried a wee bit.

Turns out that we might have a quick drop in visit from the Novices this weekend! I know! Haven’t seen  my boy since October…and have been gearing up to go see him in August for first vows.  Another whole post or two, that.  Anyhow, turns out they are helping one of their priests move down to the our town and so the whole crew is coming along to lend a hand, and visit some of their sister Dominicans.  Mercifully, Fr. James has decided that we are on the way home and that they might just be having a craving for some MamaDo’s (the brownies that I make from the recipe of one of Peter Joseph’s best friend’s mom).  So they have asked if it would be too much trouble to stop in for a quick visit, “Just family, no muss no fuss.”  Hmmm….”Um, yeah, yup, I think that would be all right…”  That’s what I said, I’m pretty sure.  All cool and collected like that, just like that.  (Tho, it might, just maybe, have also had a few leaking tears, stupid grin, and gibbering, “Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh!” )

gonna do some visiting

 

So it’s a family only quick visit, but with all those brothers and ours too and I am simply giddy in anticipation.  I have been warned to not kill myself cleaning or make too big a fuss.  So I will try, try I tell you, to heed that directive and simply bask in the pure joy of it all.  But I will admit to a little happy dancing around my kitchen this morning when I told the big girls, and that I will be thrilled to be hugging the neck of my other big boy heading home when he arrives in the wee hours of Friday morning.

best brothers

And I’m gearing up: gonna be making multiple batches of MamaDo’s, some for here and some to go!

I can’t wait!