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Cheryl's Parenting Journal

Entry 29 ~ April 10, 2009
~ A "New Attitude" for Easter

Hello Everyone,

Where is April going? Can somebody please tell me??? Each year . . . on January 3rd or 4th, I sit down and "quietly" tell myself that I will take the cold months of winter and recover from the holiday madness and find some type of peace in my crazy life. I've tried to do this for the past 10 years at least, and the only thing that seems to happen is that I blink, and it's Spring and then we are neck-deep in spring sports, end-of-school year activities and the realization that there will soon be 2 1/2 months of summer vacation upon us--with me as the social director keeping everyone's summer going swimmingly so that no one is, dare I say it, bored!

Well, thanks to the Holy Thursday Mass that I participated in last evening at our parish, Christ the King, I think I may have found my "winter peace" only a few months later than I expected. The homily last night was all about an "attitude adjustment." These words were music to my busy mother ears!

You see, I was chosen as one of 12 parishioners to have their feet washed in the celebration last evening. When I was called and asked a couple of weeks ago, I shamefully admit that after I graciously accepted the invitation (which is a big honor) I hung up the phone and shook my head wondering how the heck I would fit this into our busy baseball and otherwise overwhelming schedule that most families have these days . . . particularly mine with eight kids. I actually had a pit in my stomach for a few days because I knew I was in way over my head with my chocolate business, writing deadlines, school projects I'm involved in not to mention the state of our house! (Please, don't ask . . . it ain't pretty!) But once I accept a commitment, no matter how big or small, I would rather pull my toe nails off one by one than go back on my word!

So yesterday, Holy Thursday arrives and I dive into my usual madness of the day. My oldest son, Connor, is on the school baseball team and had a game at 3:30. I never miss a game if I don't have to. I love nothing more than sitting in those bleachers (which happen to be freezing in our seaside community during the months of April, May and June!) and cheering on my kids when they are playing. Connor happens to have my husband's baseball genes (he won a full scholarship to college for pitching-we can only hope one of our offspring can be half as lucky!) so watching him is a true joy. (How pitifully obnoxious is that to admit!! I'm such a mother!) I left the game early . . . with Miss Annie in tow (and her new rock collection which weighed about 15 lbs!) and rushed home to change. Dinner last evening, if I recall, was Frosted Flakes! I dashed out the door with a moment to spare to arrive at church and the moment I walked through those doors, I knew, I just knew, I was in the right place at the right time--very eerie, almost, but very powerful as well.

We are known in our parish community as the family who takes up a full pew. I think it boggles a few minds that we attend the 8 AM Mass each Sunday, all of us, and have only missed maybe 3 masses in the past 3 years. To us, this is normal. Church is a regular staple in our week and we want our children to have that faith foundation under their belts so when they are older, they will hopefully have that to draw on when they need it.

Our pastor came right over to greet me and said how funny it was to see me without a lot of kids in tow. Funny is right. I was actually going to be able to sit and listen to the entire Mass without distributing a baggie of cheerios or taking someone to the bathroom. I even got to sit in the very first pew at the end . . . .front and center. The entire Mass was full of "firsts" like that for me, and when I actually had my feet washed, I had chills run down my spine and I don't think I'll ever forget it. I absorbed each and every moment of the Mass last evening and the homily was all about having a new "attitude adjustment" because life just doesn't always allow for us to appreciate what we have and to graciously accept some of our circumstances.

So, on this holy Easter Weekend, I am one lucky lady! I was given an opportunity that I never would have taken had I not been invited . . . an invitation that I thought was going to wreak havoc on my very busy schedule but instead, it did the opposite. It opened my eyes, my heart and my mind and put everything into the proper perspective. That, I believe, is my Easter Miracle!

Happy Easter to everyone! If you struggle with a crazy schedule as I do, I hope you find a way to find a little bit of peace this Spring and maybe a new "attitude adjustment" of your own.

~ Cheryl

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