Happy Mardi Gras, everyone! I must say, what with being buried under snow, and sequestered with out-of-school kids for ten days, good old Fat Tuesday really snuck up on me this year. I didn't even have a chance to stockpile ingredients for Hurricanes, or practice my one-handed-bead-catching-technique, or train to stay up all night dancing in the streets with thousands of my newest, closest friends...oh wait, I must have forgotten there for a moment that those days are WAAAY over for me. I did wear tacky, plastic, multicolored beads to work today, though. Whew, it was pretty wild, I'm telling you. Other than that, I promised the kids we'd mark the occasion by having breakfast for dinner, which they love, no matter what the excuse (Lent is starting, Mom feels lazy, we're out of food--it's all the same to them.)
This year, with them being almost-10 and 6-1/2, we also discussed for the first time the concept of "giving something up" for the Lenten season. They're old enough, and have absorbed enough church by this point, to have a basic grasp of the ideas of sacrifice, and atonement, and self-improvement. We bandied about some ideas (Husband: "Let's give up tofu!"), before I came up with the Proposal: No Dessert After Dinner. There was a collective gasp, followed by shocked silence, as they struggled to comprehend this monstrous thought. While they gathered their wits to launch what was sure to be a vigorous protest, I hastened to interject, "Remember, you can still have dessert in your lunches!" They took a breath and calmed down a bit.
However, I then reminded them of the other vital piece of information, namely that Lent lasts until Easter...40 days away...Their little faces fell (it was actually quite sad to see their miserable expressions, as they contemplated the meaning of 40 cookie-free evenings.) So together we will try to honor the meaning of the season, but when Easter rolls around and we joyously celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord, the only thing left to sacrifice will be a whole basketful of Chocolate Bunnies!