Friday, March 23, 2007

Lenten Checkpoint

Well, Carolyn asked me how I was doing on my Lenten projects today, so I thought I would check back in and let everybody know. The first thing I wanted to do was to use my sewing for a cause. So, I contacted my Parish and a friend who also is an Anglican priest for help. I was led to a couple of options. After having my first child, I sewed maternity clothes for Birthright, an organization that helps young women who decide to carry their babies to term and, if they then keep them, help them along in their new lives as mothers. This was one option that was given to me again, but the only chapter in this huge city is across town, beyond my ability to easily reach them in my limited free daytime hours. Similar for another organization downtown. So, option three was a church community near by (about 15-20 mins away) that sews layettes and such for preemies and still borns. I really liked this idea and have sent many e-mails, but alas, have not received any response. So, my sewing project has not come forth to what I had hoped. So, I focussed inwards instead.

I speak often about my husband, the Pilot. He has been away since August, taking a military senior staff course in a city about 6 hours from us. While he comes home weekends when he can, the kids and I are alone for the rest of it. It has been tiring and emotionally draining, so I tend to withdraw from my kids when I am feeling low and tired, so that they don't see Mommy at her worst. What that has led to is less meaningful interaction with them. So, my actual Lenten project has been to offer more of ME to my kids. I am spending more time with them, giving and getting more hugs, kisses and snuggles.

I have homework time before or after I cook supper, so that I can actually be right there when Hamster Boy needs help remembering his 6 times table. I found a computer game that helps him do his multiplication and I watch him play and cheer him on. I have more snuggles with Monkey Girl as she watches the Pink Panther and have her read to me as she is starting to be able to do that now. Scout night pizza has gone from order in to custom made so that it is more of a family night with the extra speed of fast preparation so that we can get to Scouts on time with full bellies! Hamster cleaning time is now a family event. He washes the tubes and the cages, while I empty the bedding and old food and then dry it all. She watches over the Rodent in its ball while we work. Then the two of them bath the Rodent. All in all, the kids are a bit happier. When I do have a really bad day, I have learned that I can tell Hamster Boy that Mommy is really missing Daddy and I need some quiet time. He then stops fighting Monkey Girl and plays nicely while I have my little cry and sleep. They then wake me up with either a bounce or by throwing all their stuffed animals on my belly.

It has not been easy. Often, after a busy period, I just want the world to stop for a few days and do nothing. So the dishes don't get done right away and the laundry doesn't get put away by me. But now the kids have discovered that if it isn't in the cupboard, to check the dishwasher. They have begun separating their own laundry while we watch TV at night. They get to "throw" mine back into the basket after they take their own up. They love playing basketball with Mom's socks and T's!

So, I guess this Lent has been a rediscovery of my kids and of my husband as well. We really appreciate the time together that we do have and make the most of it. This year really has brought us closer. Only two more weeks till Easter and less than 100 days till he comes home to stay. But what I am doing will last forever ...

Now, Carolyn has told me what she is doing ... has anybody else tried to do something?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi,
I have been trying to finish what I sew and be more patient with what I do. I'm trying not to be so wasteful of my time and fabric. I like your idea of sewing for others. I was involved in making baptismal quilts but think I would rather sew for kids. Good for you for keeping up your lenten practice.

Maureen