Lost in Translation
We began this week talking about sacrifices and what we could all give up during Lent. Of course this always starts with ideas like giving up broccoli, baths, homework and the like, but it usually ends in some very serious decisions for such little people.
Today all the kids were in school for a little while so I took the opportunity to steal away to mass before I had to pick Max up. I must say that the placement of ashes is an art. Some go for the small and ever so understated cross which ends up looking like a giant smudge. This is what I almost always end up with. This year however, I got an actual cross. It was larger than my normal ash mark but I appreciated that you could actually tell what was on my head.
Max was a bit stunned when I entered his class though. "You went to church without me? When am I going to go?" Then he got distracted and quickly went to the, "What do you mean I can't eat this lollipop? I didn't really give up candy. I gave up sweets." Technicalities are very important when you are four, on your first day of your sacrifice and in possession of the one thing you decided to do without.
"Buddy," I reminded him, "you did give up sweets and candy. Remember last night when you said you wanted to go to church every day? Then this morning, when it was time for church, you decided absolutely against that policy and moved on to sweets. Remember that?"
You can imagine (if you've ever had a four-year-old) what the rest of the whiny ride home sounded like as the sounds of the plastic lollipop wrap crinkled through the air.
Tonight, as I was showering him, he looked up again at my forehead, still emblazoned with the ash cross. "Are you going to go to bed with that?"
"Well it would get all over my pillow and sheets. It's okay to wash it off of your face at the end of the day."
"Okay. When can I go to church and get sacrificed?"