Thursday, March 6, 2014

Ashes to Ashes

The past three years I have spent Ash Wednesday with Mama Bits. We would meet at Mass with our broods. After ashes, wrangling the toddlers, and hushing the babies we would walk back to her city dwelling where we would feast on a pasta salad and consume Diet Cokes while the children played everything from kitchen to race cars. One year it was bitterly cold and I hailed a cab home. The other two years, it was on the cusp of spring and we happily walked to the metro.

This Ash Wednesday was a little sad for me. Really sad, actually. I didn't have my buddy to meet at Mass. I didn't have a plan for a pasta salad and Diet Coke lunch. I didn't have that beautiful old church filled with friends, senators, and secret service around to celebrate this time of year with. 

I missed my friend.

It's this season of the year and this season of our lives that make me realize how valuable she was in mine and I, in hers. 

To be completely honest, we didn't make it to church. We planned on it. We aimed for it... but LMC has been a bit of a twit the past few days. With her feet stomping, her whining, and her total lack of patience before breaking some toy or throwing some tantrum, I just didn't have it in me to rally her when she said she didn't want to go to church. 

Opting to not let her know that she won, I didn't bring it up again. When Bennie's godmother and her daughters showed up for dinner, Husband realized that we didn't make it to Mass. 

"Why didn't we go?"

"I just didn't have it in me today to get everyone on board with my plan." 

I think that resonated with him. Church should not be a battle. It should be a family experience. I should not have let her win. We should have gone. We should have been more faithful about our Faith. 

Coulda-Woulda-Shoulda... they'll get you every time. 

Husband asked me what I am giving up for Lent. 

"I am giving up time. I am going to go to church mid-week." This is what I usually do. At the end of the 40 days, I find that I am renewed, refreshed, and ready for spring. 

Maybe LMC will be, too.


Family Snodgrass said...

Oh, I miss you too! We are taking a play from your book this year. The children and I are going over to the Church for a little Adoration on Friday mornings, when the church is empty. This week, we also walked the Stations of the Cross and they got to ask a million questions without us having to worry about anyone being disrupted. It was delightful! And one of the first times the children didn't want to leave church when it was time to go. Maybe LMC would enjoy a little visit on her own time. :)

Jessica C. said...

Whellll... we DID go despite Caleb's protests and he broke down WEEPING in the pews. So.. you know.. two sides. Hard to know which is better. I'll never regret going to church, but I bet everyone sitting in a 10 foot radius of me did it on my behalf.

Caleb just kept saying that he like it better when daddy was the one praying for us and he wanted to go to our OTHER church. Sweet on one hand, and also, I felt like a Catholic failure on the other. SO. There you have it.

All in all, making church an experience they love is.. I *think*.. the critical thing right now. If missing Ash Wednesday but making a mid-week special time that is more joyous does that.. I think that's really what God wants. More connection, not less.