Or, On Looking Back at Lent and the Little Lessons that I Learned
In a word, detachment.
So I can’t say I gave up a lot for Lent. Forgoing my daily cup(s) of coffee? Not an option, and anyway my husband forbids my giving up caffeine because he knows that it would be his penance too.
I did try to give up playing Candy Crush on my iPad and was semi-successful in that venture. (There were a few truly pathetic momentswhen I locked myself in the bathroom and turned the volume way down. What can I say? I am very weak.) Eventually and more than anything else, I starting looking for ways to be detached. Detached from perfectionism…detached from impatience..detached from excessive love of my own will.
Well, guess what? There were a lot of those moments! Indeed, the more I looked, the more I found. Indeed, it’s now Easter and they’re…still…coming!
What do you think God’s trying to tell me here?
We have a family tradition—correction: I have a family tradition—of taking a family photo after Mass on Christmas and Easter. My husband and kids put up with this tradition because they know if they don’t, the momma will pout.
And if the momma ain’t happy, ain’t no one happy!
This Easter, though, we went to the vigil…and though it was beautiful, it was also long. Over three hours long when all was said and
done sung, which meant that no one—except me—wanted to hang around after.
And so…big sigh…
This is the only photo I got.
I tried to be okay with this, really I did. I may or may not have gotten really weepy around midnight but I think that was more a function of my forgetting to take my happy pills. (Holy Week got really busy. Still. That’ll learn me.)
And then the glorious joy of Easter overtook me and I thought, no big deal! Let’s do the photo the next Sunday! My family, God love them, humored me with my request to “wear the exact same thing you wore for the vigil.” I had it all planned out in my head—we’d take the photo at the front of the church by the Divine Mercy painting and all those gorgeous flowers.
And then, just before the final blessing, the priest announced that there was adoration after Mass…and to do that photo would have been disrespectful.
So we took it outside. In the cold. On the dead grass.
When I saw this picture I thought, “Oh my goodness, I look twenty pounds heavier than the 15 pounds too heavy that I am!”
But you know what? Whatever. I’m not going to fret about 15 extra pounds when there are so many other things to concern me. I’ve got bigger fish to fry than that.
(Though granted, I should probably bake that fish.)
One of the reasons that we went to the Vigil was that we left for North Dakota on Easter morning. We brought a tray of Peeps to share with my family:
Peeps that miraculously laid eggs for Easter;
Peeps that I let the kids make ALL BY THEMSELVES, even though I knew that my parents & sisters would see them.
In a word, detachment.
Going home is always kind of crazy.
It’s seeing your future in the light of your past.
It’s also, you know, trying your best to be a capable mom because you know your own mom is watching you.
It’s two parts insecurity and one part pride.
Story of my life.
Going home means holding your tongue out of love, especially when Grandpa serves the kids a “treat” for a breakfast.
(“Enjoy that bowl of cereal,” I whispered to my son with a grin. “’Cause you ain’t ever seeing those colors at home!”)
(He grinned back. He knew that.)
That is, perhaps, the biggest goal of detachment. It’s being thankful for what you have…
…because you never know how long you will have it.