Monday, June 6, 2016
My big sister Maureen and I shared a bedroom in our Bronx apartment. It was a hot summer night and our parents were out for an evening together. I could not fall asleep. "I can't sleep," I said. "Neither can I," added Maureen. To avoid boredom I decided to try for a conversation. I was desperate. "Why do Mommy and Daddy go out sometimes?" I asked, knowing Maureen was all knowledge. Sure enough, she answered, "So that they can be normal." "Aren't they always normal?" I asked. "No," replied Maureen. "Being Mommy and Daddy makes them crazy. They need to go out to be with other adults, eat and have some fun." "Why does being Mommy and Daddy make them crazy?" I questioned. "Because they have to put up with boy monsters like you," Maureen said. "But Mommy says I am her little angel," I challenged. "Like I said, being a Mommy makes her crazy, seeing angels where there are only monsters," responded Maureen. "Are all boys monsters?" I wondered out loud. "Yes, so that is why I am going to become a nun. I don't want to be married to a monster and become crazy with boy kids. I will marry Jesus," answered Maureen. "But Jesus was a boy too," I queried. "Yes, but he was God, so he did not become a monster. That is why he is different from everyone else," said Maureen. "Will you still be a witch if you become a nun," I asked. "Only if I have to teach boys," answered Maureen. "Then will I have witch nuns when I go to school?" I asked. "Of course. Only the girl classes get the good nuns." "Good grief," I thought! "Well, if I marry will I end up marrying a witch?" I asked. "You will find out after you get married," said Maureen. "Well maybe I should see my wife going to bed before we get married to see if she turns into a witch." "You do and you will burn for sure!" exclaimed Maureen. "What can I do?" I queried. "Well, you can become a priest, and avoid it all," she counseled. And so the seed of my vocation was first planted in me by my sister Maureen on that hot summer night.