To say that my mum loves crochet is a huge understatement; she lives and breathes crochet! Since she became a grandmother last year, her crochet thoughts have been drawn to babies. It works out well for me because it means I get really lovely hand-made things for Benedict. It also means I can give my mum an idea I have in my head, and she makes it.
She’s made him vintage flopsy bunnies, aran cardigans with red aeroplane buttons on, baby blankets with boats on the corner, little booties, toy bears… I could carry on! So my baby really is dressed in crochet. But I do have to stop mum when she wants to make me a crocheted tea cosy that looks like a christmas tree, or crocheted coasters and table cloths… and crocheted trousers are maybe a step too far!
It really doesn’t seem to matter where I celebrate the Easter Triduum, it always manages to blow me away. When the Gloria is sung at the Vigil and the bells start ringing, I can’t help but be so happy and thankful! So much waiting and anticipation, and it’s always so much better than what I remember from the year before.
For Good Friday, Eoin spent Maundy Thursday in the kitchen making some home-made hot cross buns – they were delicious! And what better way to teach children about the Triduum than through baking. I know Benedict really isn’t old enough to understand yet, but we’ve been singing lots of nursery rhymes with him, including ‘one a penny, two a penny, hot cross buns’, and thought it would be fun to make them this year. Here’s the recipe.
Anyone who knows Benedict will know his love for food; he could easily challenge his dad with eating as many easter eggs as you can in one go. So passing on the faith with food is probably the way forward!
Eoin, Benedict and I went to St Patrick’s Church in Soho yesterday for Palm Sunday, and in true St Patrick’s fashion we processed around Soho Square holding our palms and singing hymns. And as with any religious procession around Soho there was no shortage of hostility, which I guess means all the more reason to process.
I absolutely love going back to St Patrick’s. I think it is the most alive and active parish I have ever known, and one that is really living Pope Francis’ call to evangelise. It evangelises like one massive steam roller; making its presence felt and really not afraid to go ahead! After Mass and lunch yesterday, the SPES students and seminarians, along with Fr Alexander went out on to the streets giving out palms and talking to people about Christ and the coming of Easter.
Its because of this passion for evangelisation that I am so glad Benedict was baptised in St Patrick’s. I don’t think Benedict could begin his life within the Church in a better place.
After Benedict’s baptism, with Fr Alexander:
With his Godparents – my sister, Hannah and Eoin’s brother, Stefan:
With Eoin’s parents, my Granny and Nanna, and my parents:
There is something so nice about going out in the morning with Benedict and meeting up with other mums for coffee. Its been a great way of catching up and sharing baby tips and stories.
But, with everything else that has changed in my life, going for a coffee with friends is a whole new adventure! Instead of the difficult decision of which coffee to choose, its making sure I have toys, biscuits, a beaker, bib, high chair and space for the buggy! Juggling conversations with picking up toys thrown at other customers and distracting a shouting baby is starting to become second nature.
The days of a relaxing coffee catch-up have long gone, but I definitely wouldn’t have it any other way!
Eoin has developed an obsession with putting everything on Benedict’s head… Bibs, bubbles, building blocks, trousers, santa hats, glasses, muslin, muslin with glasses, nappies, pants, roofs, and theatre hats…
I couldn’t help but group them all together. The poor little one!
I came across this book “Faith Beginnings” on another Catholic Mum’s blog… It is brilliant! It talks about ways of developing a child’s faith right from birth. Until reading this book, I never thought about my 8 month old having faith at his age. Of course, I knew that when he was baptised God made His home in him, but I guess I thought he would be older and talking before he could have faith in Christ.
The book suggests really simple things, like whispering the Hail Marys of the rosary to soothe your baby to sleep. And so by praying with them on a regular basis it becomes a normal part of their daily life.
I remember being surprised a couple of months ago when, seemingly out of the blue, my husband said grace with Benedict before he fed him his dinner. He took Benedict’s hand to make the sign of the cross and then prayed the grace we normally say. It was so lovely to watch, and I couldn’t understand why we hadn’t done it before! It seemed so obvious!
The book also talks about the sensory nature of the Catholic Church; the smells of incense, the stain glass windows, statues of saints, holy water at the entrance of the church, the ringing of bells during the Consecration. In an age where there are countless sensory classes being offered to mothers and babies, the Mass seems a great way of introducing your child to the different senses, AND it nourishes their soul too!!
This book is definitely a must for any Catholic parent!