We’re a week away from Lent, folks! It’s actually a skosh late this year as compared to last year, so it shouldn’t spring up on anyone. It never “springs up” on us, to be honest: I attend a Traditional Latin Mass chapel, and there are three Sundays before Ash Wednesday that illustrate and discuss Lent. My brother-in-law called it “pre-gaming Lent,” which is just silly enough to be memorable but not offensive.
As a kid, it was all about giving something up: bubble gum, candy. My parents never kept much of either around anyway, so it wasn’t a big deal. In college I learned about other options: adding prayer, doing community service. My mind was blown at the idea of giving up something that wasn’t food, let alone this other stuff (I gave up cursing– I had acquired quite the potty mouth! Not a good move for a prospective teacher).
Now that I’m a grown-up (and no, I didn’t type that with a straight face), I not only have to worry about my own Lenten discipline, but that of my children– kids who I think should have a better sense of what Lent means than I did at their age. The Hubs and I discussed how religious complacency has settled in: Mass, Sunday School for Toughie, who will be receiving First Communion in May… but that’s about it.
I don’t do New Year’s Resolutions only in January: I do them in August, in preparation for the new school year (I started as a teacher, but I find it’s important to do them as a parent of school-age children); I do them in November, when Advent begins a new liturgical year; and I do them before Lent begins. I have done the 40 bags in 40 days Challenge, and while it’s been fun and effective, I’ve been fluttering with FlyLady since the New Year to the point where it’s not much of a sacrifice for me to ditch clutter. In fact, most of my vices–cursing included– are not so integrated into my life that giving them up is much of a sacrifice… the downside of not having an addictive personality, if ever there was one.And I am not interested in the Lenten crafty item– I have enough artwork from the kids as it is!
What I do plan to emphasize this year is the balance of fasting and feasting. So we’ll have a Mardi Gras “party” next Tuesday. We’ll be ok with the “Sunday Rule” (honestly– something I had never heard of as a kid!), We’ll probably get together for St. Patrick’s Day. Then the days of limited TV or no dessert don’t seem like punishment but the trade-off they are meant to be.
For more info, and maybe some suggestions, check out my fave homeschooling mama.
Here’s to raising children in the traditions we hold dear, rather than dragging them through rules and regulations kicking and screaming.