For many years, Good Friday was a day I successfully spent almost entirely on spiritual reading, liturgy, and manual work around the house. Now the kids are at that age where it is more or less impossible to create a sense of solemnity all day -- or even for a short period of time. So here are some realistic moments from Good Friday at the Darwin household.
Eleanor, our eight year old, was caught watching Electric Company on the computer when computer time was verboten, and sent to her room. "I'll show you, I'll do something terrible." Several moments later, a stuffed panda bear falls halfway down the stairwell with a jump rope tied around its neck and the "panda's" voice cries from upstairs, "Oh no, I've hanged myself."
Julia, (seven -- coming up on her first communion) at dinner, "I think I'd better try some wine. I need to know what it tastes like." Takes a sip. "Tastes like... wine. I better add some water." She adds some. "Tastes like... wine with water in it."
Jack (2.5) looking through The Last 1000 Years picture history. "Sword. King. Henry the Eighth."
We rushed over to check, and it was indeed Henry the Eighth that he was pointing towards.
He kept leafing through and identified Louis XIV as "king", Peter the Great (in armor) as "knight", the Vietnam War as "gun" and then reached a page entitled "Social Revolution" which showed rioters burning things in protest over Apartheid. "Oh nuts," says Jack, pointing to the riot.
A week ago, our venerable vacuum attained the interesting habit of smoking and sparking whenever connected with an outlet. We considered taking it into a repair shop and spending more on it that it's worth, but among other things it's an upright, dating back to before we put hardwood into our old house, and our new house has no carpet at all. So we got a new friend which arrived today (things had got rather dusty in the interim) and suddenly everyone wants to help with lots of vacuuming.
Finally we know how to motivate children to do chores, but it's way too expensive to do repeatedly.
Perhaps explaining where Jack learned to visually identify Henry VIII, Isabel (5) was going around this afternoon singing "Mommy is attracted, to Daddeeeeeeee! Daddy is attracted, to Mommeeeeeeeeeeee!" to the tune of Henry, Henry.
We cracked up, but Julia advised, "Don't kiss! Don't you dare kiss in here!"
But now the two eldest are engaging in some Lectio Divina with Highlights and the next two in the food chain are vacuuming the landing upstairs, so I'm going to go catch a bit of quiet.