I have nothing but general randomness this evening. My paragraphs will probably wander a bit. You’ve been warned.
The boy’s close buddy, Carter, was over at our house for a while this afternoon, and the two of them started talking about Michael Jackson.
That guy who sings “Thriller.”
The boy is well aware of the fact that the King of Pop is no longer with us here on earth, but I guess Hubs and I failed to explain to him the circumstances of his death. No matter. Carter did our job for us this afternoon, as he whole-heartedly launched into the explicit details of the story, informing the boy that Michael Jackson’s doctor supposedly gave him too many drugs, which killed him.
And my boy, bless his heart, said, “Well, I hope that doctor was fired, because let me tell you this: If my doctor gave me too many drugs and killed me, I would definitely fire him.”
It doesn’t matter that the logistics of that statement don’t work out. The boy is nine. And a half.
Hubs is living and breathing the Olympics. He’s keeping track of medals won, of dreams lost, and total snow accumulation in Vancouver. He’s on a sweet, two-week addiction to televised winter sports.
Last night, he looked up from the TV and asked me, “At what point in a guy’s life does he say to himself, ‘I think I’ll twirl around on the ice in my skates, and I think I’ll sew flashy sequins all over my shirt and wear that while I’m twirling’?” Hubs went on to say, “I can give them the twirling. Fine. You want to twirl? Twirl! But I can’t get down with the sequins and the glitter and the spandex and the sparkles. You don’t see hockey players hot-gluing flashy sequins onto their jerseys.”
Oh, Hubs. I love you.
And also? It’s Ash Wednesday.
Our church doesn’t give us ashes on our foreheads, but I teach at a Catholic school, and the kids there all had ashes today. As they sat on my gym floor, kicking off their street shoes and donning their PE shoes, I had several of them ask me what I was giving up for Lent. I had given it a bit of thought, and although we don’t usually give things up for a six-week period of time at our Baptist church, I’m not at all opposed to the idea of it.
The boy is participating in a youth group with Carter, and they were encouraged to come up with something that they would willingly sacrifice from now until Easter, and the boy decided that he would be giving up junk food for snacks.
He told me, “Mom, it’ll be hard, too, because you know how I like to sneak chocolate! And you know how I like to eat pudding cups after school. So now, until Easter, I’m going to try really hard to give up junky snacks, and I’ll eat fruit and healthy crackers and yogurt for snacks all of the time, and not just when you make me. And guess what else? I thought about giving up my Legos for six weeks, and then I knew the truth, and the truth is that I can’t go two days without picking up Lego pieces and snapping them together, and so in two days my Lent sacrifice would already be ruined.”
And, people, I stared straight into my little boy’s eyeballs, and I said, “Mama is giving up Starbucks.”
And low! My child tipped over sideways and laughed himself plum silly, and then he said, “Wow! THAT is going to be a challenge.” Clearly, my boy knows me well.
But really, if you’re going to participate in Lent, shouldn’t what you give up actually BE a challenge? Isn’t that the true definition of sacrifice?
I’ve thought long and hard about this in the past couple of days. I’ve talked to Hubs about it, and he replied, “Good for you. Just remember that Jesus didn’t call me to give up Starbucks, so you’ll still have to go with me on occasion to the Land of Good Coffee.” I even talked to my friend, Amy, about it, and she sighed and told me, “Sister, you are so strong! And I’m going to be that friend who prays for you through this entire Starbucksless season. I am so proud of you. I am going to be an incredibly good influence on you, while you struggle with this.”
And Hubs, not to be outdone by Amy’s kind words, later told me, “I’ll GIFT you with Starbucks cups occasionally. I think you can still have one, if it’s a gift, and not something you deliberately purchased yourself. I figure a few giftings should see you through the next six weeks. I love you that much.”
However, I declined Hubs’ generous offer to gift me with cups of hot goodness from Starbucks.
People, my name is Mama, and I’m a Starbucks addict. And I’m giving it up for Lent. And I don’t know if I can do it without getting crabby and cranky and irritable, and it’ll be like a six-week episode of PMS, really, so Hubs should truly enjoy living at home with me here for a while.
But I’m going to try. I’m going for the gold.
And maybe, when I come out on the other side of six weeks with a broken addiction and a new appreciation for the word sacrifice, I’ll sew some sequins onto my shirts and twirl in celebration.