Coffee clicks: Passiontide

I can hardly believe we’re a week out from the Triduum. I was rattling off my liturgical wish list to Dave the other night saying how I really wanted to go to the Easter Vigil but, alas, so many wiggling children who make even regular Sunday Mass a hardship right now (cough cough Zelie) that he’s not sold.

Not in the least. Frankly, I think we may have depleted his entire “taking kids to ornate and spectacular and endless liturgies” tank back when we lived in Rome. I wonder if it will all feel a bit more doable once we have a balance of offspring which tips above the age of reason rather than below it. I also know families who regularly make things like Midnight Mass and Friday night stations of the cross work even with tons of kids, so it might just be that we’re wusses.

1. I bought a clutch of second hand easter baskets at Arc the other day, along with perhaps my most spectacular kid’s book haul to date. $13 for a haul of chapter books that will last Joey a solid month, I hope. I’ve found our growing children’s library of chapter books to be one place where I am less of a minimalist. It’s more of a curated and generous minimalism, since I want to own books that will delight and enrich my kids, but also am too lazy to take them to the library to too irresponsible to get them back on time. So thrift stores it is.

2. I haven’t given a ton of thought into what will go into those easter baskets yet, but I do know I need this year to be very, very sugar mellow because we’re celebrating with my side of the family in the afternoon, and my mom has already texted us teaser shots of her shopping cart “getting ready for the big hunt!” and it’s literally a bonfire of high fructose corn syrup and red dye. Which, whatever, it’s a holiday! But the bunny definitely does not need to bring any sugar to our home in the morning. Trying to decide how cheaply and sneakily I can get away with things that are causally not candy without dashing hopes and breaking hearts. I know a few kids who would swoon over eggs containing these guys; one child would die of happiness if I included these; these will probably end up in Luke’s mouth if I’m not careful how I package them; Joey and John Paul got this book as a gift last month and got really into it; I’ve been wanting to buy this series for Joey anyway; all 5 kids received these JPII quote pillow cases from one of their godfathers and I love them.

3. This read gave me real pause. I do wonder if the writer is actually a 14 year old, because she seems awfully self possessed and mature for being a middle schooler. Then again, given the position she’s taken on social media, perhaps it’s only natural. I’m going to have to do some soul searching over this one. I’ve definitely pulled back a lot in terms of what I share about the kids, but when I think about my archives I do cringe a little.

4. Did you read the letter published by Pope emeritus Benedict earlier this week? Full text here. Feels strange to even type those words again. Archbishop Chaput’s take on it was quite good. CNA’s own analysis of it is well worth your time.

5. Still thinking about this piece and a great conversation we had over dinner with a friend last week. What is your parish life like? Do you attend and participate in the life of your geographical parish? If so, what age group do you fall into?

Hope you have a lovely weekend. We’re throwing a small joint birthday party for my mother in law and John Paul (almost 7! how?!) and have a flurry of swim lessons and birthday parties to knock off the list. I’m also dying to show you our almost-finished front hall closet-turned mudroom, which Dave absolutely slayed DIYing, if he doesn’t mind my saying so.

A guy who doesn’t seem to mind.

Here’s a little sneak peek:

Praying for the grace to really unplug and enter into Holy Week well.  


  • Jean

    We have left stations of the cross in screaming shame after the 7th, 8th or 9th station. If lent was longer, we might eventually make it through. The big kids (7 and 4) do great but are then super tired after. Our usually super happy 19-month-old becomes a possessed ware wolf every evening after 6:30 pm. Stations start at 7. All of the Triduum stuff starts at 7 or after, so no. Taking it a year at a time as they age and will have to go in shifts.

  • jeanette

    If you really want to go to the Easter Vigil or Holy Thursday or Good Friday, just get a sitter or go solo, i.e. you go to one, your husband goes to the other. There really is no reason why you have to bring the whole family. It really is okay to experience these masses without the children, especially ones as young as yours. Knowing you are there, someday perhaps they will long to be there, too. It will be a rite of passage in their Catholic spiritual life to be “old enough” to attend.

  • April

    That book haul is impressive! We only have two kids (ages 3 and 7 – would love more, if you want to send a prayer our way 😉) who are, ehem, high energy mutant ninjas at Mass and we’ve been faithful Midnight Mass at Christmas/Easter Vigil goers every year. Then this year we got home from Midnight Mass on Christmas and our daughter didn’t fall asleep until 4:30 a.m. waiting for, well, not Jesus. Then we had to make a 5 hour drive to my parent’s on Christmas morning. My husband was like, “No more romantic late night liturgies.” I agreed – not at this stage anyway. 😂

  • Missy

    The article on social media was interesting and I applaud her decision to get off. But I’m having a real hard time believing she didn’t know what her mom and sister were posting on Facebook/Twitter about herself. None of my kids are on social media, yet, but even my 3 year old has seen mine. My six year old will ask me to post pictures of him on Facebook and my 10 year old loves to scroll through my posts and look at old pictures and read things they used to say. Because let’s be honest, my kids don’t have a baby book, they have Facebook memories 😂🤣 Now, with all that said, as they have gotten older I do think more about what I post and how it will come across and I’ll ask my older kids if it’s ok.

  • Carole

    Thank you for the squishies suggestion for the Easter basket! I just ordered on Amazon. I hope that you and your family have a very blessed Holy Week. This week is the stuff I live for, I don’t know about you? I totally second what Jeanette said above. This will be the third year we’ve gotten a sitter for our now 2 year old for the Easter Vigil while taking the older three. The 2 year old is our “verb”, so, off ya go to bed my boy, while the people who can sit still go enjoy us a fancy liturgy. We are actually getting a sitter for the verb on Thursday as well. Money well spent!

  • Rachel

    My husband and I attend our geographical parish because it’s within walking distance of our house.

    55% of the parish population is over 55. There are a few young families, but some of them are only at this parish because their parents/grandparents attend there.

    My husband and I are pretty involved and are often the youngest parishioners at events (and the youngest couple on our street by 10+ years–most are 50-70 yrs. old). It doesn’t matter much to us now, but we’re not sure what we’ll do when we have children (God willing). Understandably, there’s not a whole lot of children’s events at our parish, and it doesn’t have a school…

    Perhaps we’ll homeschool anyway. Or we’ll be the ones who pioneer a children’s program. We love living close to church so much, though, that parish hopping would be far from our first choice.

    • Rachel

      Though I can’t tell you how much I long for a good, old Catholic church–ours was built in the late 60s. It’s a big, open room with small, plain windows and no statues or side altars. And no kneelers. #offeritup

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *