Well, Easter is almost upon us…and along with another crafty holiday comes the inner turmoil that has haunted me since…well, since my first Sunday school experience. It went something like this. I was in a classroom of four-year-olds with sweet teachers. Nonetheless, I missed my Mom desperately. I tried to listen to the sweet ladies teaching class and follow the instructions. We were to color a picture of Joseph and his coat of many colors. I brightened a bit…thrilled to be given white paper and crayons, I set to work…I colored and colored and colored my heart out…quite happily…until I looked around the room. My Joseph was blue…as was his coat…as was most of the page, since I did not care to stay in the lines at this point in my life. Next to me sat Ginger Pearson (Oh, my beloved Ginger!) Her Joseph was beautifully colored an appropriate shade of tan…and that coat! Woah. Every color of the rainbow. And she stayed in the lines. And I suddenly realized something was different…about me…and I was introduced to the concept of social conventions.
Now, up to this point, my social conventions were largely shaped by my best friends = Fifi (our dog), assorted worms and bugs, with a frog or two thrown in for good measure. I understood my friends and my friends understood me. But for some reason, my mom insisted that I go to social events (church) to interact with…other children…if only to prepare me for school. Gone would be my days spent playing in our clubhouse (Fifi’s doghouse)…gone would be my uninhibited world of grass, mud, and sticks…enter crayons and glue and scissors. Enter my struggle to navigate a world of cute and craft and lines and convention.
And so, Easter…and Christmas…and Valentine’s Day…and St. Patrick’s Day. Ack! If they were days of true significance for me, that would be one thing. But they are not. (And this is my measure of whether or not a “holiday” is of true significance…if I were on a deserted island with my family and we had lost track of days…would said “holiday” impact us and the way in which we lived?)
And so I find it hard, as a mom, to indoctrinate my girls into the world of “holiday” celebration. Ack. Ack. Ack! What’s a girl to do? I find that I am left with a few options. (Note, I am a black-and-white-linear-thinker, so here goes):
- Succumb to the social pressure to celebrate these “holidays.” Try to be crafty and creative and make it fun for the kids (which would NOT happen, because I would be an emotional mess which would make it MISERABLE for my poor family.)
- Ignore the “holidays.” Kids do not need fun to be made for them…being a kid is fun. Life is fun! Go play with my kids…outside…in the grass…with mud, sticks, bugs and a frog or two.
- Incorporate some aspects of the “holiday” in a toned-down version of the “holiday.” Try to retrofit the “holiday” into some sort of God-honoring thing. Blah, blah, blah.
- Enjoy and celebrate God each day. Notice Him in the grass and the mud and the bugs and the laughter of my children.
I kinda go with a combo of 3 and 4…for now. I am trying to live true to myself…true to my God…true to my roots…but I’m in process. Bah. (It was so much easier when I was four!)