Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Feast of the Assumption with Small Children: Take 2

     I'm really happy we were able to celebrate The Assumption this year. I think I mentioned in a previous post that, while we didn't celebrate The Assumption while I was growing up, it's a pretty special holiday for me. There was a huge party in Cleveland's Little Italy while I was in college, while the party itself was only related to Assumption by name, the day really stuck with me. In addition, Within the past five years or so, Mary has become a big thing for me: the Mom thing, the daughter thing, the feminist thing: Mary-focus is a given.
     This year the celebration was done in the Robson traditional fashion: by realizing The Assumption was the day before and deciding we would just do it today instead. There are lots of blogs written by women who are way better at this than me, and they had a million different ideas with special breads and prayers, and decorations and tablecloths. These women are very good at using tablecloths. I was working under pressure, but I got the cliff notes. One trip to the grocery store, print off a coloring page and ba-bam! Assumption party done!
     There is one thing about doing these parties spur of the moment that I think benefits the kids. I tell them some details about the day, the person and the event, and they help me think of ways to celebrate. So, in the car on the way to the grocery store, I'm giving Amani a little crash course so she can help me scour the pastry isle. "Mary, Heaven, blue, fruit, flowers, roses!  Break!"
     She did great. We found cookies that looked kind of like roses, and she wanted to get blue flowers to decorate with.  Because I hadn't thought about the coloring page ahead of time, Amani and I searched through Google images to found ones we liked. She chose one of the Nativity because she likes the story about baby Jesus best, which I would not have known if I had prepped the pages myself. While we were coloring, we got to talk in a way that I don't think we could have if we had chosen a more involved activity.  She told me she really liked Mary's veil, and we talked about halo and why holy people glow.  We talked about how the angel told Mary she was going to have a baby. It was this quiet intimate time for us that really made the day for me.
     We barely pulled it off, but we did it, and the kids really enjoyed it. I feel bad that I am not better about preparing these little celebrations, but I think I'll get better at it. Right now the kids are so little, that I figure even if they marginally get the idea of the holiday, it's one Catholic-identity point.  They have like, five now. If we can make it to one hundred points, we unlock the identity achievement where they will call themselves "spiritual but not religious" when their adults. It's a long way to go, but I think we can make it.

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