Sunday, April 5, 2009

Jeanine Is A Good Listener

Today is Palm Sunday so at mass we listened to the Gospel of the Passion and Death of Jesus according to Mark. This reminded me of my daughter Jeanine and something that happened on Palm Sunday when she was barely three years old. We were standing for the reading of the gospel at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Fairfax and the various readers were making their way thru this long, long gospel. Jack was holding Jeanine in his arms and Jennifer standing next to me. When the reader came to the part of the gospel where one of the high priests sent to arrest Jesus along with Judas reacted by cutting off the ear of one of the men. Jeanine screamed with all her might and in her loudest three year old voice exclaimed for the whole congregation to hear: "He cut off his ear!" I even think that the priest at the alter heard her make this protest.

This led to two quick reactions. First, anyone who had been half asleep while the gospel was being read was now wide awake. Second, the indignation of this little three year old to the ear lopping turned into muffled giggles that grew louder and louder. Jack and I were between a rock and a hard place. We too were awaken from our gospel reading stupor and we too had a bad case of the giggles. When mass was finally over I whispered to Jack that at least she is listening and paying attention in church.

This also reminds me of another time Jeanine was listening hard to what was going on around her. We had gone in to the Children's Museum in D.C. one Sunday when they were putting on a little show for the kids that included both a protagonist and the antagonist. I don't remember the name of the play or the characters but I do remember that Jeanine who was just two at the time was listening to the bad guy talk and she wouldn't have any of it. She kept yelling at the top of her voice: "You bad, bad man! Bad man. Bad man." Jack moved to the back of the room but Jeanine continued the good verbal fight with the bad guy. So much so that Jack soon had to remove Jeanine from the performance. Jennifer and I stayed to watch the ending but all I can remember now is that Jeanine was giving it to that bad guy. The moral of this story: don't mess with Jeanine.


fishing guy said...

Joann: What a great story of a childs understanding of a situation.

jeanine said...

I used to talk to the TV, too. I think the moral of the story might be that I take drama productions way too seriously.

Linda Reeder said...

Great stories!

DragonQuilter said...

I think stories about kids honesty and frankness are the best! They haven't learned to be "PC" yet! Wish we could all go back to being that open!