It's that time of year again. Usually I have a bit more time to think and ponder what I shall give up for the Lenten season. I didn't even consider my role this year as truthfully, I am just tired. It was not until the innocent question posed by my "cousin" at our church's annual Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper. For the record, I have little idea what shrove means but I do understand pancake and so, I had taken the four littles to have a dinner that unusually made everyone happy. Daddy was cooking in the church kitchen and so, our group chatted and the subject of what was being given up for Lent naturally played into the conversation. I responded meekly that I had not even given it one thought. My brain is fried each evening and by the time we have fed, read and tucked in our four people, I just want to melt like the wicked witch into my cozy chair by a fire. What else could I possibly give up?
I could give up days with Amos. In all seriousness, he has been so tough lately (if you haven't surmised from my blatant accusations in previous writings). I can see that I would be much "happier" dropping him off or leaving him at home with Mary Poppins while I skirt off to a job. Any job at this point, though one not involving children sounds the most appealing. I know, I know. I really am not ready to leave him yet and I have sacrificed this long so a couple more years will be fine. I love being with him truly but in this moment, I love the IDEA of being with him even more. Fairy tales plague my thoughts as I daydream of us, hand in hand, skipping to the library and then the playground. Ha! I can't even get him to walk more than one step whether in the house or on the sidewalk. He falls at my feet, crying out like he is in pain, but really I think he's just being a pain.
Again, I'm not sure though as he can't tell me and so, instead I feel guilty again for being a crappy mother who enjoyed an occasional glass of wine late in pregnancy and probably caused the whole problem anyways. My heart doesn't think this but my mind plays tricks on me and I wonder more often than I like, if it could be at all true. No need to answer, just a rhetorical question. I pick him up again and again and I try not to lose faith or heart. I try to laugh too and my real friends accept the bad and hideous thoughts and laugh with me, quick to notice the funniness of it all. I said just yesterday, to one of those few people that loves me just as I am, that my relationship with Amos was on the rocks. Dangling on the rocks of a steep cliff was a more apt description.
In all seriousness, if I had anyone else treat me the way he does, I would walk away and never look back. Not a twinge of guilt would I feel and those friends would cheer me on, "hooray for escaping the you know what". He is like a miniature controlling boyfriend that not only stalks my every move but puts tremendous emotional pressure on me with the hysterical crying and is physically abusive too. He pinches my mouth or arm, often slams his head against me, and best of all, bites my innocent fingers when I feed his bird mouth. I know the biting is an accident but I am not even allowed to utter a quiet "ouch" or the crying starts all over again. How dare I complain to him?! I am committed to my tiny terrorist (labeling credit given to JC). Yes, for better or worse and for richer or poorer, especially as our year starts over and the medical bills are beginning to trickle into our humble mailbox.
Lent. What can I give up? Chocolate? I actually don't like it. Wine? Too lazy to open a bottle these days. Facebook? Too greedy. Amos? Wishful thinking. No, I think maybe giving up is not for me but maybe taking on suits me better? I'm not sure if this is even an acceptable idea as I am not a "cradle Episcopalian", not even a valid Episcopal church member yet. I am doing confirmation though and am excited to learn more about the faith to which I have subscribed over the last 14 years. I was married in what I consider "my church", a small Episcopal church of the Eastern Diocese in our small town of Edenton. I am learning more about myself this time around as my last confirmation was in the Presbyterian Church at age thirteen.
Since I admit to my ignorance of the ins and outs of Lent, I am willing to take my chances and do a best guess of how I should use this time to best prepare my heart and mind. I am going to be quick to let go of anger, offer forgiveness, show love, and stand strong in my beliefs. I am going to make a point, over my morning coffee, to ponder where I think God is leading me as I navigate my paths and weave them into the tapestry God has ultimately already woven. No, I'm not giving up any particular whims this year and perhaps ignorance is bliss for this unofficial Episcopalian, but I am going with my gut and letting go. I shall not shush the voice that tells me to hold on to love, let go of anger, disappointment and hurt. I'm all in for the easy yoke.