My 2 year old son...ummm, he just corrected me...my 2 1/2 year old son (He's actually 2 and 9 months) has an attraction for all things Catholic. I don't know where it comes from, but I have a good idea that it might come from me and my husband.
Now, let me make it clear that we are not one of those families where the kids play with Jesus dolls and learn to count by counting rosaries and marian statues. I think we are incredibly normal. Probably more normal than we should be. However, because of my job and our faith, ecclesial matters are common topics for conversation, when the TV is on, it is usually tuned to EWTN, and my son falls asleep to Gregorian Chant while riding in the car. Ok, so we aren't as normal as I think we are.
Today, while in the car driving to a Chinese restaurant to pick up take-out, we passed the bishop's residence. My son immediately shouted out, "Is that the Chinese food place?" I said, "No, that is the Bishop's house". My son said, "Oh, someday I eat in there". Now, that might not seem funny, but to me it was hilarious because of the other comments my son has made.
When he was about 1 1/2 I took him to the Cathedral for a prayer service for vocations. At the end of the service he became enthralled with Cardinal O'Malley's old episcopal coat of arms, which is located in one of the stairways in the back of the cathedral. A priest asked him if he wanted one. My son exclaimed, "Yes!" The priest told him that he would have to be a bishop in order to get one. My son said, "Ok! Bishop has hat!".
For the longest time after that my son told everyone that he wanted to be a bishop. He has since downgraded his aspirations and now declares that he wants to be a priest.
Last weekend, at the procession, my son decided that watching the procession wasn't good enough for him. He wanted to walk in it with the priests. Unfortunately for him, they don't make cassocks in his size.
The day that filled me with the most joy was a few weeks ago. He is in a new bedroom and the crucifix that usually hangs in his bedroom wasn't hung yet because we wanted to get him a new one. As he laid in bed he said, "Mommy, I don't have a Jesus on the cross. I need a Jesus on the cross for my wall". I said, "Ok, we will get you one tomorrow". He said, "Ok, I need a picture of Mary and Jesus wearing red for my wall too". I assured him that he could have a picture for his wall too. The next day, we went to LaSallette Shrine and he picked out a crucifix. Then we set out to find the picture he was looking for. He looked and looked and didn't find anything he liked. Then, he saw a picture of the Sacred Heart and Immaculate Heart and said, "That's it! Jesus and Mary wearing red!" So, we got the picture for him too. He hung it on his wall and that night told me that he had to pray to Jesus. All by himself, he knelt in front of his crucifix and asked me to help him pray. Now, he does it all by himself and recites the simple prayers I taught him.
I don't know if all this means something or if he is just picking up on our faith, but it makes me so happy. I hope this love which is burning within him never dies.