Posted by Danny
I’m not opposed to Lent, I’ve just never particpated. Although my current church suggests we give something up, I was raised Baptist. They give stuff up all the time – there’s nothing left to give when spring rolls around. Plus, forty days is a really long time. I might could handle a week.
That’s why I find it interesting that my daughters always seem to get excited about doing without something during this season.
Last night, DJ and Stephanie made decisions about what they were going to give up. DJ decided that Facebook was important to her so she would do without it until Easter. That’s a pretty big sacrifice for her. Although I cautioned Stephanie, she choose to give up her i-touch. She just received it for Christmas and she really, really enjoys playing the games. I fear she is quickly going to fall off the wagon, just as she did last year with chocolate and the year before with chewing gum. But she’s getting older. Maybe she will make it this time.
On the way to school today, the girls asked me what I was giving up for Lent. I pondered and suggested some things that clearly weren’t going to affect me this season: kissing girls, cutting my fingernails (I bite only when necessary), painting the house. They balked at my list. I then went with the absurd: showers, underwear, doing their laundry. Again, no takers.
That’s when they began to offer ideas about my sacrifice. DJ suggested I give up wine.
“That ain’t happening.”
Stephanie piped in with coffee.
“You’re going to get punished for suggesting that.”
Then DJ came up with what she thought was a perfect compromise for all, “Dad, why don’t you stop being weird for Lent?”
“That shouldn’t be a problem. But I get to decide what is weird and what is not.”
“No way. If you do something that we think is weird, you have to call one of your dad friends and ask him if he would do it. If he says yes, it’s not weird. If he says no, then it’s weird and you lose.”
They acuse me all of the time of doing stuff that they are certain other father’s would not do: my particular dance moves – I don’t think are unusual; speaking in an undeciferable language and expecting them to respond – I’m sure all of the dads do that; throwing wet sponges at them when they run through the kitchen – a normal family activity for most. But I decided to go along. So until Easter, I cannot be “weird.”
I did take it upon myself to explain Fat Tuesday to them as we drove to school. To celebrate, I opened all of the car windows and began yelling farm animal noises as we drove throughout the the neighborhoods: “bock bock becock”, a long loud “mooooo”, my doberman pinscher impression. They thought that was funny, until we neared the carpool line. That’s when I opened the sunroof and started singing:
Little Bunny Foo Foo hopping through the forrest
scooping up the field mice and bopping them on the head.
But, I couldn’t drive and keep DJ from closing the roof. So as we neared drop off, I turned the radio on to a station that was playing hymns. How Great Thou Art was beautiful and I knew all the words. I opened the window and sang along.
I’m not sure if the kids had fun or if I just completely humiliated them. Either way, I guess we’ll have no more of that for the next forty days. Sure hope I can make it!