A baby calls us out!

Pretty much everyone has some childhood favorite that still brings out the kid in them. I appreciate this side of people and defend it, sometimes fiercely! 

Welcome to Part 23 of a weekly series on the formation journey of Josh, a first-year novice at the Marian House of Studies in Washington, D.C. Watch for a new post every Friday.

I walked along the aisles in Costco with my fellow novice Michael, picking up various food items for our Marian community. Novices do the shopping every week, and we cook meals most evenings. 

Our shopping was almost done, and each of us was pushing a full cart of goods. We were just touching bases regarding a few remaining items.

We walked by the kids’ section for cold cereal. 

Childhood favorites
Pretty much everyone has some childhood favorite that still brings out the kid in them. I appreciate this side of people and defend it, sometimes fiercely! For example, when another novice, Joseph, expressed a desire for Fruit Loops, some people teased him, but I bought him a box of the cereal. Then, there’s David with his enjoyment of Spongebob Monopoly, and there’s Josh (me) pulling silly pranks like stuffing a guy’s bed with plastic poppers or putting a tack on somebody’s seat (I removed it before he sat down). 

Michael used to serve as Deputy District Attorney for the State of Utah. He was hired to be the Assistant Attorney General for the State of Utah but didn’t proceed with the career, choosing instead to enter religious life. An all-state basketball player with two championships, he graduated from Santa Clara University with Phi Beta Kappa, magnum cum laude

Michael is also still a child at heart, and St. Thérèse the Little Flower even providentially gave him an image of a white flower the day after he asked for one. 

Cereal aisle
One thing Michael enjoys is a cold cereal called Cinnamon Toast Crunch. He mentioned to me that he’ll eat a bowl of it at night when no one is looking.

On this particular day, after passing the cereal aisle, he stalled and he looked back at the Cinnamon Toast Crunch. 

I paused, leaning on my cart and waited as he made up his mind. 

“I’m going to get some,” he said, and he walked back. 

I was happy to see him go for the cereal, not because I wish him the after-effects of too much sugar, but because I like it when people indulge the kid in them. 

There was a young mother also standing at the kids’ section, and she had a cart with a 3-year-old baby girl inside. 

The mother grabbed a box of Raisin Bran, but her baby started crying, pointing at the Cinnamon Toast Crunch.

Michael was approaching, but he slowed down. He tells me he “sensed something was amiss.”

The mom put the Raisin Bran back, picked up the Cinnamon Toast Crunch and said, “Oookay, Cinnamon Toast Crunch for the baaaaby!”

The baby smiled, happily.

Out of the mouth of babes
Keeping his head down, not meeting the mother’s eyes, Michael got his own box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch.

As he walked back toward me, the baby pointed at him and called out, “Hey, that man has my cereal!”

Michael winced in pain. He was too embarrassed to look into the young mother’s eyes as we walked away.

However, later that day, many of us in our religious house shared a good laugh over the story. I believe St. Thérèse was proud of Michael!

Next entry: "Joking in the House."
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