We chose to send our children to our community school, not because it was Catholic but because it is our community school. Being that we are Protestant, we could have bussed them down the highway to the public school, but we had sent them out of the community for Kindergarten and felt that that was enough bus riding, especially down a highway.
In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility. - Eleanor Roosevelt
If I am going to commit to something, then I commit to that thing as whole heartedly as possible and because I had taught in a Catholic school, I had begun to study Catholicism years before my children went to their community school. I also attended many Liturgies and we, as a family supported the school’s mandates, explaining to our children why we didn’t believe said conviction, and why we were still honouring it anyway. I wanted my children to see their education as just that, an education, and loved when they would bring ideas home to discuss, be it English, Science or Religion. Being taught in their Catholic school offered them a chance to openly experience tolerance and intolerance as well as play around with and develop their own beliefs about religion and spirituality and feel how those beliefs would unfold and evolve.
Last week on Pancake Tuesday, as I call it from my upbringing, my son arrived home from school and with elation said, “Yeah, I smell sausage! Are we having pancakes for Shrove Tuesday?” and I came back with, “Of course, it’s Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday, Pancake Tuesday and Shrove Tuesday!” because it doesn’t matter what it is called, and knowing many names for something, just broadens perspectives and vocabulary. What Max desired was to experience that good feeling that he always had from those school celebrations, through food, prayer, tradition, and being in community.
The kids are in high school now, which makes this year the first year that I have not given up anything for Lent, nor have I chosen to offer a specific gift each day for 40 days, but I have been thinking about the practise. Please join me in dialogue here or through my other Social Media venues to discuss thoughts surrounding this time in the Christian calendar as I process these contemplations and allow my ideas and practises to evolve…