Wednesday, February 25, 2009
No Ashes for Me Today
I was unable to get to church today because my toddler, once again, is sick with a cold and fever.
“Don’t worry, it’s not a holy day of obligation,” my husband reminded me. He has reassured himself of this because he always works long hours during the week and cannot spare the time to attend church.
“At least the kids will get their ashes in school,” I say, as I whip up a tuna salad for our lunch.
Then I realize that I forgot to remind the kids not to use lunchmeat when they made their sandwiches last night. “Children are exempt before Confirmation, I think. Still, coming in with bologna sandwiches is not the fashionable thing to do in a Catholic School. I hope they don't get ribbed for it if they forgot.”
I had really thought I was ahead of the game this season of Lent. On Sunday I had my game plan of resolutions ready. I went food shopping and came home with two pounds of flounder for today’s dinner, and three pounds of ricotta cheese for Friday’s dinner. I even got a jumpstart on the decluttering I had planned to do. I had six cubic feet worth of stuff ready to go out the door today for donations. But God had other plans for me today. Maybe part of it was an extra dose of humility.
When the kids got home from school, I was preparing the flounder. “Hey, what did you kids make for lunch today?” I asked.
“Oh, Mom!” exclaimed my eleven-year-old, “We forgot we weren’t supposed to have meat! I had just finished my bologna sandwich when I realized it! I asked my math teacher if there were exceptions and she said to ask my religion teacher so I did. And she said if it was a mistake it’s okay, and if you’re under 14 you’re exempt. So then I felt better.”
She said she was giving up being mean to her siblings, having a messy room, and dessert. She said she’d have dessert on Sunday but not the other two. I liked her list.
Click here to read last year's post on Ash Wednesday.
Painting above: Christ Served by the Angels, Jacques de Stella, c. 1650