The past three years I have spent Ash Wednesday with Mama Bits. We would meet at Mass with our broods. After ashes, wrangling the toddlers, and hushing the babies we would walk back to her city dwelling where we would feast on a pasta salad and consume Diet Cokes while the children played everything from kitchen to race cars. One year it was bitterly cold and I hailed a cab home. The other two years, it was on the cusp of spring and we happily walked to the metro.
This Ash Wednesday was a little sad for me. Really sad, actually. I didn't have my buddy to meet at Mass. I didn't have a plan for a pasta salad and Diet Coke lunch. I didn't have that beautiful old church filled with friends, senators, and secret service around to celebrate this time of year with.
I missed my friend.
It's this season of the year and this season of our lives that make me realize how valuable she was in mine and I, in hers.
To be completely honest, we didn't make it to church. We planned on it. We aimed for it... but LMC has been a bit of a twit the past few days. With her feet stomping, her whining, and her total lack of patience before breaking some toy or throwing some tantrum, I just didn't have it in me to rally her when she said she didn't want to go to church.
Opting to not let her know that she won, I didn't bring it up again. When Bennie's godmother and her daughters showed up for dinner, Husband realized that we didn't make it to Mass.
"Why didn't we go?"
"I just didn't have it in me today to get everyone on board with my plan."
I think that resonated with him. Church should not be a battle. It should be a family experience. I should not have let her win. We should have gone. We should have been more faithful about our Faith.
Coulda-Woulda-Shoulda... they'll get you every time.
Husband asked me what I am giving up for Lent.
"I am giving up time. I am going to go to church mid-week." This is what I usually do. At the end of the 40 days, I find that I am renewed, refreshed, and ready for spring.
Maybe LMC will be, too.