As a child, one of my favorite “holidays” was Ash Wednesday. Not only did we get to have a half day at school – but the entire day was named after me as well! I had to laugh this morning when Michael fell under the same childish impression. He wondered why is this day named after his mama? Is there going to be some sort of party, like last night with the special desserts?
Speaking of Michael, I was quite impressed with him at mass today. He was remarkably calm and even seemed to be soaking in some key phrases throughout the service. “What is pity?” he asked after the first reading. Then he nearly jumped out of the pew when he heard Father mention “video games” during the homily. That sure caught his attention! Today was a far cry from the typical whining and squirming that attending mass generally provokes. I think the novelty of receiving ashes (the one time of year a four year old actually participates in the communion line) and spending time with daddy midday improved Michael’s behavior. Although I wondered where my real child went, the peaceful mass experience was such a lovely gift. I hope this is a positive behavioral shift instead of an anomaly.
The rest of my day was less peaceful. Ryan and I learned of a financial hiccup that will inevitably increase our stress levels. I’m having a difficult time getting a handle on household chores this week. And fasting is hard to do! I’ve come to realize that I am super-out-of-practice in the fasting department. Previous Lenten seasons have given me a pass for pregnancy, nursing or health issues – and I’ve finally run out of excuses. But at least I ate the really dark chocolate (you know, it’s slightly more palatable than bitter) when I finally caved to my sweet tooth this evening. That’s got to count for something, right?
I’ll let you know how it goes on my voluntary Lenten sacrifice (making a schedule and sticking to it). Right now, eh… I need to put a plan on paper. Did I already mention I’m having a hard time organizing my life right now?