Matt Archbold graduated from Saint Joseph’s University in 1995. He is a former journalist who left the newspaper business to raise his five children. He writes for the Creative Minority Report.
My 11 year old had to do a project on the corporal works of mercy. Her class had been studying them for a while. I've tested her so many times on clothing the naked, visiting the sick, visiting the imprisoned, and burying the dead that I can't wait to get to the next chapter.
But first she had a project to do. She had to use a big piece of paper and draw and color a picture of herself doing one of the corporal works of mercy. So she sat down for hours at the kitchen table while I did homework with the other kids. I normally do projects with them but with all the snow days we were a little backed up on homework, tests, and projects so I had to focus on the little ones.
By the time she finished we were running out the door to head to somebody's practice. And by the time we got home I'd forgotten all about it.
So on the way to school the following morning I remembered I'd never even looked at the project. I asked her to see it and she got it out proudly and handed it up for me to look at while I was driving. (Safe, right?) It was a huge picture of her kneeling and praying in a graveyard with hundreds of tombstones next to a body. It looked like the beginning of a CSI Halloween special. I knew it was her in the picture because the little girl praying in the graveyard was in her basketball uniform with her number on it. I assume it was a surprise funeral and she had to come straight from her basketball game.
My fourteen year old was sitting in the passenger seat in the front. She looked at the picture, raised her eyebrow at me, and laughed.
"Uhm. It's great," I told my 11 year old. I didn't want to ruin her confidence but I did add, "It's kind of...uhm...morbid, isn't it?"
"Well," she said, "burying the dead is technically a corporal work of mercy so I drew a picture of it. I think it's great."
So much for destroying her confidence.
"But couldn't you have picked a different corporal work of mercy to draw a picture of?" I asked.
"Hey," she said. "I could've drawn a picture of clothe the naked! Would that have been better?"
My fourteen year old suggested that if she was going to do that she use stick figures.