Tuesday, February 12, 2008


On Ash Wednesday, as we're getting ready to leave for school, the kid asks what happens on Ash Wednesday. I said it's a religious holiday, a pretty serious time for many Christians, and Catholics often make some sacrifice for the next 40 days before Easter to show how serious things are. (I tried to tackle the concept of sin and redemption and then let that one lie. There are some things that a goddessworshipping pantheist is not qualified and Catholic sin is one of them. )

Later, I'm replaying what I said as I brushed my teeth, checking for gaps in my story. I realize that I have not ever given up anything for Lent, and that maybe an example would help him get the idea. Lightbulb! I was a super asshole the night before, with lots of hovering during homework, and slamming the cardoor open so hard when we got home because we were arguing about Harry Potter that I snapped the little metal piece in the door hinge and now I have to manually feed it into the door to be able to close the door every time. I'll give up yelling for Lent, I announced. he got all stern-faced because I yelled for him to come make his lunch and I had to qualify my pledge to give up angry yelling, because there's no way I could go for 40 days without being loud, for the love of Pete! it's molecularly impossible.

On the way to school, the kid announced that he knew what he'd like to give up for Lent. It's not something that I do that's bad, he said. Does it still count? Let me hear it, I said, bracing myself. I'm giving up the after-school program, he said calmly. I'll be a car-rider like (insert friend from wealthy family with giant house and great toys) and we can play together all the time. Ah. I see.

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