The baby found one of my rosaries, just brown plastic beads and string, and he looked over it with his usual intense concentration. He’s clearly got his father’s NT tendencies.
Of course, right after he did that, he did the next predictable thing and tasted it.
It’s a joke after all these babies that “The world is a very big place — it’s going to take a long time to put the whole thing in my mouth.”
Kiddo#4 is at the tail end of learning-via-mouth, but he’ll still do it when he’s stumped, as clearly he was by this beady-stringy thing. Mommy holds it, so it must be wonderful, but what does it do?
As he did it, I found myself reacting opposite to the way I would have predicted. I didn’t leap for him in order to prevent him from desecrating a sacred object. Instead, I just had a sense that he’d actually just done an act of respect.
Isn’t that the way we are, even the adults among us? When confronted with something sacred, we examine it, turn it around, feel confused, and then try to learn about it. In his own way, the baby was being intimate with God, although he didn’t know it.
On Thursday, while cleaning, I found a different rosary under my bed, one that had been missing for weeks. I had to lie flat and stretch to reach it there, meaning I couldn’t have dropped it. I’m sure my sacrilegious cat took it.
Jerina is an overgrown kitten. The vet said she might be two, but I think she’s barely a year. She chases her tail and thinks feet under sheets are an irresistible temptation to pounce. She licks me when I pet her, either grooming me or tasting me. She comes when she hears me pick up the rosary because she knows that sound means I’ll be sitting for fifteen minutes. I’ve left my rosary on the bed and found her pouncing on it, batting it, and “playing” the rosary.
She is not reverent. I’m pretty sure she must have taken it in her mouth, tasting the white beads, then dragged it off the bed or off the dresser to savor it in private. The rosary survived unscathed.
Isn’t that the way we are too? We find something sacred, and not sure what it is, we play around with it, we drag it off to keep it in private. We don’t usually know what we’ve been given or what we’ve found for ourselves.