Wednesday, March 1, 2017

I Give Up

Today is a big day for us Jesus Freaks as my brother likes to call me
It is Ash Wednesday which marks the beginning of the Season of Lent
It is a season of penance, reflection, and fasting which prepares us for Christ's Resurrection on Easter Sunday
And it is through the resurrection of Christ which we will attain redemption
The ashes are reminder of our mortality and devotion as a follower of Christ
The ashes are a symbol of repentance, of mortality, of the day we will stand before God and be judged
The ashes mark the start of a season of examination and abstinence known as Lent
During Lent, we'll fast, pay penance, abstain from meat on Friday, and go through periods of self-examination in preparation for Easter
And, we'll give something up as a form of penance
For some, it will be a luxury they give up
 For others a vice
For many, it will be some form of food or drink
Some will decide not to give something up but to do more of something
Others will use Lent as a declaration to make a dramatic lifestyle change
For many, it will be at time in which we try to embrace and embody what it means to be a "good" Catholic (because you know, we only have to do that 46 days out of the year during Lent)
We'll attend Mass as a family this evening and receive our ashes from last year's palms
And as we begin the Lenten season, as a family, we'll make our declarations to one another of what we are giving up/embracing/going to do better during Lent
Sean has mentioned he'll probably give up beer or the Groove crackers he likes to snack on
I have no doubt Sean can give up crackers and beer
When Sean decides to do or not do something, he just does it or does not do it
He has more self control and will power when it comes to shit like that than anyone I know
It is really, really annoying
Lucy thinks she can give up TV
Lucy giving up TV is a different story
Look, I love her, and I want to be supportive....but Lucy giving up TV is just not realistic
She loves her screen time way too much
Plus, I know my kid
She'll wiggle out of this on one of two technicalities:
1. She'll still try to finagle screen time on the iPad via Hulu, YouTube and Netfilx
Because when she says she's giving up TV, she is being literal and saying she will not watch anything on the big TV
2. If Sean or I happen to be watching something, say Football (soccer), March Madness, baseball or Chopped, and she walks into the room, she'll argue it doesn't count because she was not the one who either a) turned on the TV or b) picked what was being watched
I'd like to think she has a future as a lawyer or an advocate of some kind but a grifter is probably a more viable option
I have no idea what I'll give up or do more (or less) of during Lent
Sure, I could give up pizza or candy or coffee or be less self deprecating but I'm pretty sure that would just result in low blood sugar levels, a headache and I would not be nearly as funny as I am now
So then I thought I know, I'll give up swearing
Especially after last night when I accidentally taught Lucy two new swear words
So this morning at breakfast, I said hey Lucy, have you decided what you are giving up for Lent?
No Mumma, have you?
I have! I enthuse all proud of myself, I'm going to give up swearing!
Lucy looked at me blankly
Yes! No more F Bombs, no more bad words...
You're going to give up swearing?
Yep! I replied all smug and proud of myself with a can do attitude, I'm giving up swearing!
Lucy set her spoon down, looked me square in the eye and lost her proverbial shit
That kid laughed for seven minutes straight
Twice, when she appeared to have regained composure, but when I repeated I would not swear for the next 46 days, she laughed even harder
I called Sean on my way to work after I dropped Lucy off
Honey, listen to this, I say, when I told Lucy I was giving swearing up for Lent she....
I never finished
Sean started laughing as soon as my words were out of my mouth
When I arrived at work, my co-worker and I were chatting and he asked if I give up something for Lent
I do I said, and this year I'm giving up swearing!
He laughed
Almost as hard as Lucy did
Definitely as hard as Sean did
So I'll be giving up ice cream

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