Spring Break simply Will.Not.End. For that matter, neither will winter. Today’s forecast calls for snow. (As we used to say when I was a kid: “It’s spring! April Fools!”)
Julianna returned to school this morning, but Alex remains at home for one more day, because the Catholic school takes Easter Monday off. Not one in our house was happy to uncover that blip on the calendar. Even Alex was looking forward to Monday. When he found out the public schools were in session, he flung his arms into folded position and himself onto the couch and yelled, “It’s NOT FAIR that Julianna gets to go back to school!”
This Spring Break, my children learned to fight. It was a horrible Holy Week. I spent the week negotiating cease-fires that held for thirty seconds, sending kids to rooms, lecturing about love…while simultaneously trying to keep up the usual work of preventing Michael from tearing the house apart stick by stick.
We were jailed by snow for a couple of days and by rain and cold the rest of the week. And then came the evening Triduum services. I got through Holy Thursday with enough grace to be able to write about it; by the time we finished leading music on Good Friday, I was numb from repeating to myself, “This surely has to be the worst of it. By next year Michael will be more independent, and Nicholas will be 5. Surely this was the worst of it. Surely it will be better next year.”
Saturday night Alex and I attended Easter Vigil–Alex’s first. My first in six years. We stayed through the baptisms and then went home. (Hey, give me a break. We had to be back at church 7:45 a.m.)
The Vigil was beautiful, although Alex spent the Exsultet whispering, “Mommy, look at the wax on my candle! Look, the flame is blue! Look at it dripping! That is SO AWESOME!” With difficulty I bit my tongue and allowed him to enjoy the experience at his own level. 😉 He watched the full-immersion adult baptisms and thought that was SO AWESOME, too.
Easter weekend we celebrated with far too many high-calorie foods:
Now it’s time to look ahead. For the next several weeks, Tuesdays and Wednesdays will be a blog tour for my new book, This Little Light of Mine: Living the Beatitudes. Every Tuesday I’ll be hosting guest posters, who will break open the topics addressed in each chapter of the book. Wednesdays I’ll be linking to posts by reviewers, many of whom (though not all) will be doing book giveaways.
I’m excited about this new book. Although it is marketed toward those working with children, I wrote it at least as much for adults. As time passes I become more and more convinced that the only way kids will really make the faith their own is if it is lived out in a practical, real-world way. It’s not enough to teach vague, general platitudes like “be kind” and “help others.” Faith is only going to grow if it’s part of the minutiae of everyday life: nitty-gritty, hands-in-the-dirt, roots digging into the soil of the soul and making your insides squirm as you come to recognize what all those pie-in-the-sky pious statements actually require in our relationships and choices. And no adult can make that happen for a child unless it’s happening simultaneously within the adult, too.
So This Little Light takes all those general statements, like “Blessed are those who mourn” and “Thou shalt not kill,” and turns the question around: “Yeah, so? What does that have to do with me, right here, right now? What do I have to do about it?” And it does this separately for adults and children, because let’s face it, grownups have different problems and challenges than kids do.
So that’s the next few weeks. I hope you’ll join us!