Jake: Is it Lent or is it Easter?
Me: It's Lent.
Neither Jacob nor I grew up Catholic. So this life of feasts and fasts doesn't feel very organic. The culture at large helps with the big ones like Christmas and Easter, but the lesser known ones - like today's Feast of the Annunciation - don't feel natural to me. At least not yet. They sneak up on me, and I encounter them via some social media outlet, and I fumble out a celebration like a person who missed the joke. I want to fill my children's lives with all the loveliness of the Church's traditions, and I want those traditions to feel as if they'd grown right up out of the earth, but so far my efforts have looked more like a mom directing a stilted pageant of hot cross buns.
I guess I want our family faith life to feel like this:
I made this for Jacob one Christmas because, in addition to the Angelus being a favorite prayer of his, this is one of his favorite paintings. Side by side this couple labors, and together they interrupt their ordinary and set aside their tools, he takes off his hat, she clasps her hands, and they speak Mary's blessed words anew.
This morning I conquered my distaste for leaving the house alone, and I trucked me and the littles to Goodwill so I could score some makeshift planters for my succulents, the succulents that I bought last week so we could finally get some Lenten desert up in our house. Up until this morning they were sitting in a clump on our kitchen table, still in their black plastic cups.
Today we said yes to something beautiful.
I also said yes to a second cup of coffee when my toddler skipped his nap this afternoon. That was a good idea too.