Saturday, Feb 21
Greeting Sometimes Martha Always Mary readers from the command central of Mary’s blog; it’s The Hubs here. Amongst the SMAM-less chaos (she’s at a retreat) I am emerging to take a stab at her blog today.
Today is one of those days that anyone with a slew of kids under 10 I’m sure can relate too. Where sleep deprivation meets Hanger (hunger induced foul mood), and cabin fever (we’ve been, for the most part, stuck in the house for the last 7 days). Actually, I should restate that: Mary and the kids have been stuck in the house for all but one of the last seven days. Sub-zero temperatures and snow have shut down life as usual for school age kids and moms –I actually escaped to work most of last week.
Anyway, it was an epic fail of a morning, with everyone off kilter. All activities were cancelled, except the parish retreat which SMAM wisely bolted off to as all heck was breaking loose. I think it’s fair to say each of the 7 inhabitants of this house were on their own island, marking territory and filled with….salt and vinegar. Now, I have ways of dealing with this –I am not an incompetent dad. TV, Atari (yeah, I have the Atari 2600 circa 1977 at the ready) or hopping in the van and heading to Grandma’s house are my quick and dirty solution to being alone at the helm. HOWEVER…it’s LENT. LENT for the love of GOD why does it have to be lent and why did we give up video games, TV, Candy (bribery is not beneath me) and booze (okay booze for me), and with our winter storm warning there is no heading to my mom’s as an escape.
But, Mary knows I can handle this on her way out the door when she let me know she may never come back (with a smile on her face), she did tell me I was #1 (or at least I think that’s what that non-verbal communication from her gloved finger meant). Pause….In the midst of being unable to sleep last night I was reading up on Pope Francis’ latest message (confession: I ran out of content on ESPN and Bleacher Report to read and I make fun of people reading/posting on Facebook in the middle of the night). Back to the pope: So, no matter how much time you spend fasting, no matter how much you sleep on a hard floor and eat ashes and sigh continually, if you do no good to others, you do nothing great.
So while Mom is on retreat….I’m leading the kids (and myself) in retreating from our highly agitated state to our little Island of Misfit Kids. And we’re rallying to take this time away from Mom, Video Games, and TV worthwhile. We’re conveying our love of Mary and what we love about mom so when she comes home, the end of her retreat is not met with toxicity she departed. Hopefully our Lenten sacrifice does good for her.
Little One: clean, changed, napped
Me: Kitchen cleaned, and a pot of spice island potpourri simmering so the smell from our Honeymoon getaway permeates the house.
Lent is about sacrifice and sacrifice feels better when we’re doing something for those we love. Love you Mary.