Today brought some encouraging notes on my article on judging between Rahner and Aquinas on the necessity of the Second Person becoming incarnate. It isn't ready for publication as it stands, but one of today's senior Rahner scholars who was a reader for it has given me lots of feedback and annotations, and thinks I'm onto something. I was too fixated on my dissertation and sent it out too quickly, still too much in its original class essay form. But I've been asked to resubmit after a thorough revision, and that has me excited. It's good to be able to turn my attention to another project beyond the dissertation.
One fun discovery for me while staying at Leslie and Jim's was to discover that Leslie is a big fan of Lost, and to watch it with her last Tuesday. She has never in any way I've ever seen shared my and (our brother) Joe's taste for science fiction or fantasy. So it was a first-time-ever experience to geek out to a bit of high-quality sci-fi with her.
True, she utterly denies that Lost is sci-fi or that we were actually geeking out, but I'm sure that's just residual denial. In ten years I'm sure we'll discover her secretly teaching herself Elvish in the bathroom or trying to build a lightsaber in the basement craft room. I wonder if Joe knows?
I have to admit that one of the funniest things to happen during the week I stayed at my sister's was inadvertently turning Sophie, who is not quite 3 years old, into a comic book geek. Whereas I thought that Grace and Haley might be old enough for some of the kid versions of comics (and that maybe Haley especially, with her professed interest in being an artist might be attracted to the visual story medium), I was unprepared for Sophie going crazy over it. One afternoon when I was relaxing with the second volume of not some theological book on the Trinity but instead with the DC weekly from last year called Trinity (focused on the mythical status of DC's "trinity" of Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman), Haley and Sophie got very interested in the pictures looking over shoulder. (A scene with a lake of molten lava resulted in two days of Sophie insisting that I help her draw pictures of volcanoes to color.) The story, besides being the middle, was nothing I could even begin to explain to them, being all about alternate timelines and mythic archetypes. But they kept wanting to follow the story as much as they could.
I switched over when they weren't looking to a kid's version book of the Justice League cartoon series that was on Cartoon Network a few years ago, and at Sophie's insistence, read through a story there. Even though that, too, was too complicated a story for her, she was entranced by every detail, and particularly by the character of Hawkgirl. "Hawkgirl" became a fixture of her language in the last few days, wanting to pretend to fly and repeating that she was Hawkgirl, and had "long pretty wings." I was a bit astonished at how much she memorized. When I came up the stairs on Friday or Saturday morning, wearing a Green Lantern t-shirt half-visible under a brown Oxford, her eyes went wide, and she urgently began tugging at Leslie's pant leg, repeating to her Mom the incredible revelation that, "Uncle Mike is Green Lantern! Uncle Mike is Green Lantern!" Leslie said today that she's continued to be all about being Hawkgirl when playing. I kind of felt like I should apologize, but I'm sure that it's just one more piece of little girl-crazy floating around in her head, lodged in between the Backyardigans and Yo Gabba Gabba! and the like. (Heh. That thought reminds me of the night in August 2006 that I heard little two year-old Haley over the baby monitor, laying in her crib for an hour after putting her down, continuing a discussion or tea party between her, Barney, a penguin or two, and Uncle Mike. It was amazing and beyond cute to hear myself become a character in her thoughts.)