Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Don't Make Me Give You Up for Lent
Then I told her my dad had been raised in the church (he went to parochial school and was an alter boy in Trenton, NJ in the 1950's, which according to him means he was beaten regularly by nuns for his bad attitude for about 12 years). I also went to mass with my grandmother fairly often as a small child, where I was fed an unending stream of "mints" to keep me quiet. It wasn't until my first pregnancy that gestational heartburn caused me to realize they were actually Tums. Thanks, grandmom.
So while I'm not Catholic, every year I debate about giving something up for Lent. This year, I've done some thinking and I've identified the thing I most need to give up. But of course, it's kind of hard to explain. It's not like - I will give up cheese. Get out of here, cheddar. You're not welcome, anymore.
It's slightly more complicated. And maybe it's just me? I have no idea. Here goes.
Every night, I have my happy time. It occurs approximately 2 seconds after my last child has gone to sleep. This is the moment where I exhale and relax, happy in the knowledge that my precious kiddos are warm and safe and snug in their beds. That we're all under one roof. That everyone is OK. While there may be a few dishes to do or emails to return, I know that the hard part of my day is over. That at least for the next few hours, no one will be howl-crying because they got the cup with the blue owl instead of the pink owl. Or using an inside voice that we all know is really an outside voice. Or saying I FORGOT I HAVE A DIORAMA DUE TO TOMORROW WAIT WHY DO YOU LOOK MAD?
Some nights I unintentionally fall asleep while trying to get my kids down for the night. And sometimes I intend to finish the dishes or the laundry, but find myself snuggling up in bed with a book. But some nights, most nights, around 9:30 pm, I plop down on the comfy couch and I chat with my sweet husband and watch some TV. Or I mess around on my phone while also watching TV and chatting with the Cap'n. Candy Crush might possibly make an appearance. Some Facebooking might take place. I see what's on the DVR or if there's anything on HGTV or Bravo that I could persuade my husband to watch without excessive sighing on his part.
It's my downtime and I love it. If you add a nice glass of Pinot Noir, it's even relaxier. Then a moment occurs, usually about an hour later. If I've had a glass of wine - it's gone. If I've been watching a show, it's over. It's at this time, that I should click off the TV and go upstairs. Some of the time I do. But often I don't. Instead I find myself at midnight debating if I should stay up another 20 minutes to see which apartment they choose on House Hunters International and if I should go ahead and open that box of Thin Mints in the freezer.
It's that last hour I need to give up for lent. That last hour that results in the 6:45 am version of myself hating the 1:00 am version of myself who stayed up too late, snacking and sipping and watching Under the Tuscan Sun for the 78th time. There's nothing my body really needs in that last hour. My ass certainly doesn't need any more late night snacks. My already-addled brain is for sure better off without bad reality TV and that last glass of wine. And let's be honest, we all know I can always use more sleep.
So why? WHY DO I DO THIS?
Well, that's easy. Because it's fun. I love snacking and sipping and watching lady movies and bad reality TV. It's awesome, actually. That's why we call it happy time. But it's bad for my ass and it makes the mornings harder. So I guess I have to give it up for a while. Just the last hour, though! Not all of it. Oh who am I kidding?
BE GONE, CHEESE. You have no power here. I'll see you in 40 days, cheddar.
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