Wednesday, April 17, 2013

In the Easter Season


Or, On Looking Back at Lent and the Little Lessons that I Learned


In a word, detachment.

*  *  *

So I can’t say I gave up a lot for Lent. Forgoing my daily cup(s) of coffee? Not an option, and anyway my husband forbids my giving up caffeine because he knows that it would be his penance too.

I did try to give up playing Candy Crush on my iPad and was semi-successful in that venture. (There were a few truly pathetic momentswhen I locked myself in the bathroom and turned the volume way down. What can I say? I am very weak.) Eventually and more than anything else, I starting looking for ways to be detached. Detached from perfectionism...detached from impatience..detached from excessive love of my own will.

Well, guess what? There were a lot of those moments!  Indeed, the more I looked, the more I found. Indeed, it’s now Easter and they’re…still…coming! 

What do you think God’s trying to tell me here?

*  *  *

We have a family tradition—correction: I have a family tradition—of taking a family photo after Mass on Christmas and Easter. My husband and kids put up with this tradition because they know if they don’t, the momma will pout.

And if the momma ain’t happy, ain’t no one happy!

This Easter, though, we went to the vigil…and though it was beautiful, it was also long. Over three hours long when all was said and done sung, which meant that no one—except me—wanted to hang around after.

And so…big sigh…

Easter 2013 VI

This is the only photo I got.

I tried to be okay with this, really I did. I may or may not have gotten really weepy around midnight but I think that was more a function of my forgetting to take my happy pills. (Holy Week got really busy. Still. That’ll learn me.)

And then the glorious joy of Easter overtook me and I thought, no big deal! Let’s do the photo the next Sunday! My family, God love them, humored me with my request to “wear the exact same thing you wore for the vigil.” I had it all planned out in my head—we’d take the photo at the front of the church by the Divine Mercy painting and all those gorgeous flowers.

And then, just before the final blessing, the priest announced that there was adoration after Mass…and to do that photo would have been disrespectful.

So we took it outside. In the cold. On the dead grass.

Easter Family Photo 2013

When I saw this picture I thought, “Oh my goodness, I look twenty pounds heavier than the 15 pounds too heavy that I am!”

But you know what? Whatever. I’m not going to fret about 15 extra pounds when there are so many other things to concern me. I’ve got bigger fish to fry than that.

(Though granted, I should probably bake that fish.)

 *  *  *

One of the reasons that we went to the Vigil was that we left for North Dakota on Easter morning. We brought a tray of Peeps to share with my family:

Easter 2013 XV

Peeps that miraculously laid eggs for Easter; 

Easter 2013 VII

Peeps that I let the kids make ALL BY THEMSELVES, even though I knew that my parents & sisters would see them.

Easter 2013 IX

In a word, detachment.

*  *  *

Going home is always kind of crazy.

Easter XIII

It’s seeing your future in the light of your past.

Easter XIV

It’s also, you know, trying your best to be a capable mom because you know your own mom is watching you.

It’s two parts insecurity and one part pride.

Story of my life.

*  *  *

Going home means holding your tongue out of love, especially when Grandpa serves the kids a “treat” for a breakfast.

Easter XII

That’s detachment.

(“Enjoy that bowl of cereal,” I whispered to my son with a grin. “’Cause you ain’t ever seeing those colors at home!”)

(He grinned back. He knew that.)

*  *  *

Finally, going home means making peace with uncertainty.

Easter X

That is, perhaps, the biggest goal of detachment. It’s being thankful for what you have…

Easter 2013 VIII

…because you never know how long you will have it.


31 comments:

  1. Love this post. I can soooo relate.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, dear Meghan. See you at the conference in May?

      Delete
  2. I personally think you look beautiful. Especially with a baby on your knee and a kid leaning in to love.

    You got it right...treasure those moments with the ones you love!

    Those peeps look yummy! All our Easter treats are gone already.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're one to talk about looking beautiful, Christine. You take AMAZING family photos! (Love the tradition on your stairs...)

      Delete
  3. Well. That was worth waiting for. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And here I'd hoped that no one would remember just how LONG it took me to write...

      Delete
  4. I think you look fabulous! You JUST had a baby - 9 months on, 9 months off!

    And it's the Easter season for a while longer... You can always take another picture any time in the 50 daysand it still counts!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "9 months on, 9 months off" is my new motto. LOVE you for it, Rosie!

      Delete
  5. praise God for the little lessons that will propel you sainthood.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's my hope anyway, dear Lena, and isn't hope one of the big three virtues? ;)

      Delete
  6. I love you in a million ways. That's all.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I had to laugh about the Easter picture--I am so the same way. Didn't get one on Easter day either so I tried again last weekend. Lets just say there was crying (not by me), pouting (me), arguing, silliness...and still no picture. Alas, the life of a mom of many! (Don't they know you just want the dang picture cuz you are so proud?!?! --of them that is)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I should have known how my husband "was" when our wedding photographer started to annoy him. He's like, you got one photo? Great, let's go!

      Delete
  8. Anonymous2:35 PM

    I have been trying to do family pictures at every holiday and event with the same type of results -- pouty momma sometimes.
    On a recent occasion, my oldest son told the rest to "just stand still and behave or we will be here all day because you know we can't do anything else until Mom gets the perfect picture". Of course we were also outside and it was starting to sprinkle, but they finally learned after 20+ years.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just get them used to it, is my philosophy. One day, I'm thinking, they'll stop complaining!

      Delete
  9. You don't look 15 OR 20 lbs heavy. You DO look (ahem) busty. ;) But that's certainly nothing to fret over. I love the green top, btw.
    I love your Easter picture. I really do and I think years from now you will smile over it. That pic of your mom and the new baby made me all weepy this morning. Great, great shot, Mags.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not going to touch the "busty" part of your remarks, Jenn, except to say that it's all thanks to my Wonder bra.

      Kidding. Totally. What can I say? I'm a nursing momma.

      And yes, the photo of my mom makes me both happy and sad. Mostly happy, though--she's lived a long, beautiful life.

      Delete
  10. I'm an obligatory Christmas/Easter pic taker too. This year I think it took 7 minutes to gather the hubby (who is a deacon and was way tired and way hungry and still had to go over with the priests and bless the Pascha baskets and food), the almost 3 yr old who was delirious from the 3+ hr Matins/Liturgy and the 14 month old who nearly fell asleep right at Communion - but then didn't : ) I cannot imagine trying to assemble your size crowd!!! Go you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is so awesome that your husband's a deacon! So is my dear daddy! (pictured above with my dear sister and great-nephew)

      Delete
  11. Beautiful post Maggie.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, sweet Lori. Will I be seeing you at the conference in May?

      [she asks hopefully]

      Delete
  12. Love that - two parts insecurity and one part pride. You are one very capable mother of seven. SEVEN - would not worry about a few extra pounds after seven kiddos, but I know you do.

    You have a mom AND dad to go home to, and lovely siblings to boot. It doesn't last forever, but in your family it's lasted longer than in most. You are so blessed. These are treasures money cannot buy.

    We did manage a family photo on Easter in front of the lilies, but it still didn't turn out well. Or I look 60 pounds overweight. Or both. But the important thing is that we were actually at the same Mass, which was a minor miracle.

    Off to start my day - we're detaching from our schedule this week!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your comment touched my heart, my friend, in so many ways. Yes, there are factions and strife in my family, but for the most part, we're shouldering through. I'm learning...slowly...to be thankful for everything.

      Delete
    2. PS. Your "we're detaching from our schedule this week" made me laugh out loud. : )

      Delete
  13. Beautiful post, we let go daily, don't we? I think it's our path to sainthood, through our children, because we have to detach in so many things constantly.

    I think you look beautiful, 15 pounds or not. I love the Easter photo!!

    (we don't buy that cereal either, but it sure is cute that your dad did that!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, sweet Jamie, for everything. And ya know, the above is technically a Divine Mercy photo--such a beautiful feast (as you know!) at our parish.

      (Even without our beloved our Father D...)

      (Gosh, how I miss him.)

      Delete
    2. What? Where did he end having to go?

      Delete
    3. OH, that's a great place for him...sorry about you losing him though. We are going to that camp with the Epiphany people!! Are you?

      Delete
    4. My grandmother always had Fruit Loops. We never did. When I am a grandmother, I will have Fruit Loops too. In the meantime, it's usually homemade granola or mini wheats. That's just the way it should be.

      Delete

Quite frankly, I would LOVE it if you left a comment. Sending me coffee & chocolate works too.

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Created by MyFitnessPal - Free Calorie Counter