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Oddly enough, this is almost exactly my approach to child-rearing.

From Jonah’s latest G-File:  “The Hoover myth endures for a simple reason — it has to.  Because otherwise the FDR myth will tip over.”


Mrs. Robbo is away to visit her family this weekend, leaving Ol’ Robbo to hold the fort.  Not alone, of course.  Instead, badly outnumbered.  The dawning realization of the tactical situation always produces the same effect, however.

Of course, the mission is very much different than it used to be.  Back in the day when the gels were but wee ones, it was all about diapers and naps, playtime and baths and all that sort of thing.  Nowadays, with a household of teens and tweens, my role is no longer that of Nanny, but of Provost Marshall:  nagging about homework; driving them to pick up their laundry and shovel out their tornado-struck rooms; insisting that yes you do need to shower today; finding an endless trail of lost but critical items; “I said turn off that damned television right now!”;  breaking up skirmishes.  It’s just as exhausting as it used to be, although nowadays it’s more a test of moral determination and willpower and not so physical.  (Well, that’s not completely true:  All the trips up and down the stairs that these tasks involve get to my knees after a while.)

And then there is the whole question of logistics and transportation, given that all of the gels often seem to need to be in about half a dozen places simultaneously.  Fortunately, this is a pretty light weekend in terms of activities.  Also, Mrs. R, bless her heart, arranged as many lifts from other parents as possible before she left.  So, as they say, I’ve got that going for me.

Once more unto the breach, I guess.

Three cheers for Murrland Publick Television for airing the first episode of Fr. Robert Barron’s series Catholicism last evening!  I caught about the last half hour or so and was positively gob-smacked that a program so unabashedly, even exuberantly, well, Christian would be seen anywhere outside of EWTN, much less on PBS.   That’s something akin to Pravda publishing the Federalist Papers.  (I notice, however, that WETA doesn’t seem to be carrying it, no doubt because it deems the program nekulturny.)

Oh, and from what I’ve seen (and read) so far, the show is more than DVD-worthy.  (Perhaps as a nice family Christmas present.  I’ll have seen most, if not all of it by then.) Fr. Barron appears to be one of those enthusiastic johnnies who gets so caught up in things that he begins to bubble and fizz after a while.  As I watched him tracing Paul’s route round about the eastern Med, it occurred to me again that Paul himself was probably of the same temperament.  (At least that’s how I’ve always tried to explain to myself some of the more incoherent passages in his letters.)

Well, I’m certainly intrigued to see where Fr. Barron goes with this.  At the moment, he’s setting up the foundations of the Church, both structural and spiritual.  What he plans to do with such pleasant topics as schism, creeping secularism, abuse and modern moral nihilism remains to be seen.  I don’t know anything about Fr. Barron himself – whether, for example, he’s a traditionalist or a modernist – and that will make all the difference in the world.


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September 2011