Sunday, December 24, 2006

Lion Boy, me wee little praist

Leo is less than a month shy of his 2nd birthday. And while most fathers might shriek at the thought of their sons wearing mom's pink shirt - I have to say, Leo is all boy. When he's not tossing a football around and rough-housing, he's imitating his daddy. And when Daddy wears clothing that most guys do not - things like black cassocks, white albs, and colorful stoles and chasubles - it's only natural for the wee lad to follow suit.

Earlier today, the last day of the week of Gaudete in Advent, Leo managed to get hold of his mother's blue belt, and tossed it around his neck for an Advent stole (blue or purple are the traditional colors) - over his white shirt (which looks like an alb). He then found one of his mother's shirts, and managed to put it on (pink or rose is the traditional color for Gaudete week) like a chasuble. He did all of this without us seeing him do it. All of the sudden, there was a fully vested "pastor" standing next to me. He has seen me vest many times in the sacristy at church, and I guess he just picked it up from there.

So, what could I do but take pictures? (More are on my flickr site at: .)

Everybody brags about their children, and I do spare Father Hollywood readers from day-by-day Leo reports - but I have to say that I'm genuinely stunned at what Lion Boy can do. He has known all the uppercase letters in the alphabet for some time now. He can count to ten pretty well (though eight is sometimes followed by two). I don't think he reads, but he does recognize that LEO spells "Leo" and that "EXIT" means "exit." It won't be long now.

He recognizes the most minute details, and can tell if a ball is a football, baseball, basketball, volley ball, or soccer ball. He knows all the basic colors and animals. He knows what a football helmet is, and can throw a football with accuracy and a spiral. He is an absolute football fanatic - and knows about touchdowns, spiking, "hike hike," punting, kicking, and bouncing and spinning other balls as well. He can (and does) point out beer and wine in the grocery store (that's my boy!). He enjoys listening to (and requesting) The Who, and is a fan of Thomas the Tank Engine and enjoys quoting Winnie the Pooh ("think, think, think, Oh bother!") - though his favorite literary genre is, by far, Dr. Seuss.

He knows all about pumpkins, turkeys, Santa, and snowmen. He also points out when lizards get in the house! He knows what roses are, and never misses an opportunity to smell them.

He can cross himself, kneel at the communion rail (where he shouts out "Jesus!" as the communion elements pass by - as we all try unsuccessfully to maintain solemnity), and can point out and say "icon" and "crucifix." He recognizes Mary and St. Francis of Assisi. He sings "Alleluia" and blurts out "Thank you, Jesus!" after we complete the table prayer before meals. When he enters the chancel, he looks toward the statue of our Lord over the altar and bows. He can identify all parts of my clerical garb - as you can see, well enough to recreate it on himself.

He enjoys saying his name: "LeoNIdas BEANE!" And he constantly "hounds" us by bringing us books and saying: "Read, please! Thank you, Daddy! Thank you, Mommy!" Somehow, he can tell the difference between a Bible and a Hymnal, and he even identifies Daddy's hundred-year old "Latin book." He has also recently learned to say "fleur-de-lis," and often says: "il pleut" when it is raining.

He has also learned to be gentle with animals, dogs and cats alike, petting them softly (which they appreciate) and giving them hugs and kisses (which they tolerate).

Who knows? Maybe me bright wee lad will be ordained a holy praist one day. That'd be fine by me, at least I'd be sure to have a reliable pastor to bring me the Holy Supper on my deathbed. But, of course, when that time comes, I hope my wee lad will be an old man himself, with hair as white as his Daddy's!

Meanwhile, we're having a blast watching him absorb, learn, and grow. We can only imagine the kinds of things he'll be learning this time next year as he approaches his 3rd birthday.


Mike Green said...

I'm no Darwinist, but I think Lion Boy is a good argument for micro-evolution. Merry Christmas to the Beanes and all Constant Readers.

Anonymous said...

merry christmas to you and Fr. Lion Boy. i am quite impressed with his apparel.

and here, i was impressed when my son puts on one of my collars. maybe Fr. Lion Boy could ordain my son so he could upgrade to vestments.,%2008%20August/slides/P8244466.JPG,%2010%20October/slides/PA304925.JPG

merry christMASS.

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