Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Bless Me, Father, For I Have Kids

The title of Bless Me Father, For I Have Kids and some of the stories in it made me think, yet again, God knew what He was doing when He chose to make kids adorable. It reminded me of a picture I took of one of the boys for whom I used to nanny. He was kneeling on the stack of his dad’s cookbook’s which he’d pulled off the bookshelf and strewn about the floor for the umpteenth time that day. Instead of immediately removing him from the source of temptation and picking up the mess, yet again, I snapped a photo of what resembles a toddler kneeling for confession. The caption underneath it could read something along the lines of: “Forgive me, Father, for I am about to sin. It’s been five minutes since my last confession.”
I purchased a number of books and had all sorts of other reading materials to choose from on the way back from the Catholic Writers Conference I attended last August, but after meeting Susie Lloyd and one of her daughters at the Expo I was drawn to start reading her book.
Before long, I was laughing and reading passages aloud to my husband during our train ride home. Susie has a wonderful sense of humor and a very strong faith in addition to a houseful of kids ranging in ages, interests, and personalities. This combination makes the anecdotes she shares about their family quite hilarious. Her vivid descriptions, quotes, shifting viewpoints, and ability to see the humor in the midst of family life at its most chaotic is quite admirable.
Susie touches on many of the major topics parents face raising children and addresses the many obstacles that families of faith come up against in the modern world. It’s refreshing to read amusing accounts of sibling rivalry, deplorable chore duty, marriage encounters, cultural clashes, creative discipline, random acts of kindness, and senseless acts of silliness. Her style is candid and genuine. She never presumes to have everything figured out or know the best way to raise a large Catholic family, but she sure has some great stories to tell about the journey she and her husband have had over the years with their large brood.
As someone who can tend to be too serious at times, I appreciated this nonfiction Catholic book which included plenty of faith and humor, family values, honest mistakes, and a dose of strong doctrine.  You can purchase this book here.  I wrote this review of Bless Me, Father, For I Have Kids for the Tiber River Blogger Review program.  Tiber River is the first Catholic book review site, started in 2000 to help you make informed decisions about Catholic book purchases.  I receive free product samples as compensation for writing reviews for Tiber River.
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