When my daughter was a few months old, one of our friends obtained his Canadian citizenship and celebrated with a beach party at Kitsilano. It was a beautiful summer day. As inexperienced parents, we failed to take into account that would mean and ended up spending 40 min to drive there, more than half an hour finding a parking spot, and still having to walk about 5 blocks to the beach.

While looking for parking, our daughter woke up from her car seat and was hungry and her desperate crying soon filled our stuffy car. We turned onto a street and saw a spot, right next to a sign that said, “Parking With Permit Only”. We took it anyway and I began nursing her in the passenger seat. About 30 seconds later, a parking attendant on a bicycle materialized in front of us.

I shall remember his kindness forever when he tapped on our window and said, “I’m taking a spin around the block. I won’t see you when I’m back, right?”

One of my hopes for my children is that they learn no so much to obey rules, but to understand why those rules exist. We show our humanness when we choose to honour the spirit rather letter of the law. Perhaps that is why I find the writings of Ron Rolheiser so inspiring. His interpretation of Catholic theology is so unlike any other authority of the church, which is probably why I managed to finish his entire book. I haven’t been to church in a long time, and religious reading isn’t usually what I enjoy. His words are such a breath of fresh air that I’m looking to put a few more of his books on my reading list.