This morning I realized out of the clear blue sky, listening to the daily readings, that it was the Feast of the Nativity of the Theotokos, and I had nothing planned for Kittyboy in the way of a lesson or activity or anything, not even an icon of the feast to show him. I have got to start sitting down with the church calendar and start planning ahead.
So I told him, "Guess what! It's Mary's birthday!" We're working on the term Theotokos, he sometimes will call her Mary-toko, but she's still his Mary. (I like Mary-toko, personally, it's very cute). I told him that meant it was the day his Mary was born (obviously), but kinda left it at that, for lack of inspiration.
Then we took a walk and along the bike trail are scores of tall sunflowers, very tall plants but with small flowers coming off the main stem. I just love them, I'm going to go walking there in a few weeks and collect seeds. Kittyboy wanted one, so I picked him a couple, and then I said, "Oh, you know what, we should take these home for Mary for her birthday!" We went home, snipped some of my geranium and a bunch of my mums, and made a bouquet, brought one of our icons of the Theotokos over to his desk, and put it there with the bouquet.
The fact that there's a candle lit is a testament of his love for his Mary. Kittyboy was a little traumatized by having dinner at a hibachi grill, where the chef lit the grill on fire. Since then, he's been very, very afraid of fires - but until Sunday, he was still fine with candles. Well, this Sunday, he apparently made the connection, and became so hysterical when we lit a candle that we had to go home. Sunday evening, we tried lighting candles here to show him they're not dangerous, and he would barely touch an unlit one - and wouldn't go anywhere near one that was burning, cried and cried (we were trying to get him to blow one out). I lit a scented one when we were having lunch today, on the other side of the table, and he tried to escape from his booster chair. Well, so after he kissed his Mary and put her up on his desk and I put the glass with the flowers in front of her, I went and got a candle, and said, "How about we light a pretty candle for Mary? Candles are so pretty, and it's her birthday." He whimpered when the match sizzled, but he didn't cry, I put it in front of the icon, and kept talking about it being a pretty candle for her birthday, and when I sat down in a chair in front of it and called him to me, he came - carefully and never taking his eyes off the candle, lest it do something sudden, but he came (thank you Mother of God!). And he sat on my lap without complaint while I told him about how Theotokos mean Mother of God, and I sang Axion Esti, "It is truly meet to call thee blessed," and told him about what that hymn means and all, and why we call Mary blessed, and then he took his eyes off of Mary and the candle long enough to lean back and look at me - "Mommy sing?" So I kept singing, and kept singing, and he was okay. He wouldn't blow the candle out himself, but he let me bring it just close enough I could blow it out. Anything for Mary!
Tomorrow, I think I will replace the Theotokos with my St. Catherine, Patroness of Scholars, and we will light a candle when we pray before starting school!