Happy Easter!

Just finished making an Easter basket for the boy. Yes, he's 14. Why do you ask?

I made the mistake of saying to the clerk at the grocery store that no matter how old they are, you want to make them a nice basket. She kind of chided me, saying that she didn't make her kids baskets because it diluted what Christ did for us.

Now, this woman and I have a relationship - I practically live at the grocery store, and she's worked there forever. She is extremely religious. Instead of saying "Have a nice day," she says "Have a blessed day." Doesn't bother me because sometimes you do need to be reminded of your blessings. But still, I was taken aback.

Holy Week used to mean something different when I was a girl. Holy Thursday meant either a night at a Seder at the base to show how Jesus spent his last night with his disciples, or a night in church watching the important men of the parish getting their feet washed by the priest.

When the other kids were looking forward to a day off on Good Friday, I was looking forward to a day in church. And by looking forward, I mean dreading. Three hours, y'all. Stations of the Cross. All kinds of prayers. Incense. My brother and I were the only kids there, and we went to Catholic school! I remember being married and feeling guilty when my mother and grandmother asked me to go with them and I said no. It stunned me to think I had a choice.

Holy Saturday was the only day in the Whole Year we didn't go to church. Yes, that's right. We went to daily Mass wherever we could find it.

Here in town the tradition for many families is to stake out a table in the park and have a barbecue. I remember thinking, "So they don't go to CHURCH on Easter??" I couldn't fathom that other families weren't like us.

This Easter the boy has a basket but neither he nor my husband have new clothes. I do, but then, I always do ;) We'll probably go to the outdoor Mass at the Grotto and then to breakfast. Dinner at my mom's later today. We haven't had Easter egg hunts for years. So, kind of a laid back Easter.

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I met my goal yesterday, and will try for ten more pages today. May be an impossible dream, but I'll get started now.


Stephanie said...

Mary, there are always people who feel so superior about their beliefs that they can't help themselves. How sad that she had to say something so hurtful. I don't think Christ would approve of such a bull-headed approach... and I don't think he would have frowned on you making your son a basket of chocolate. For heaven's sake, we're intelligent people -- it's not like you're worshipping the Roman goddess Eostre or anything so subversive. She should get a grip.

And congrats on moving ahead with the writing. 10 pages -- good stuff!!


Anonymous said...

Hey, I'm considerably older than your son *g* and my mom still makes me a basket for Easter.

As for the woman at the store, I wouldn't worry about it. I agree with Stephanie. :)

Anonymous said...

Happy Easter, Mar! Hey, I made a basket for the girl, and she's 16. Got your kid beat by 2 years. :) It is the rule in this house that as long as you live here, you get a basket on Easter and a stocking from Santa on Christmas. That lady at the store has an affliction that I call "the joylessness." Don't let her get you down. St. Francis was a very serious guy from time to time, but he sure knew how to celebrate! Our creches and manger scenes at Christmas were HIS idea originally. I bet he'd like Easter baskets, too. He knew what joy meant.

I was a very traditionalist Catholic at one time. The last several years I pretty much left the Church over the things in it that made me insane. I embraced other spiritualities that helped me immensely. In the last couple of weeks, I've been slowly pulled back to re-examine what I left, and I've realized that I can keep the good things of my prior tradition, and still live the good things I've discovered as an adult. Forming your own spiritual expression and practice is scary, an uncharted territory. But I live for adventure. :) Let yourself be free, Mar, and today...love life and all it has, because it's a glorious gift. I love you.


Tracy Montoya said...

Because Jesus would totally disapprove of your doing something to make your son happy. UGH, I can't stand people who are so arrogant as to think they have all the answers. That is one unhappy woman inside.

Congrats on the ten pages! And BTW, how are you liking DON'T LOOK DOWN? I gave up buying books for Lent, so I'm going on a big old binge this week....

Trish Milburn said...

I've come into contact with people like the grocery store lady. I remember some people at the church where I went to some youth group activities when I was in high school calling Santa Satan Claws and saying that we should do away with that non-Christian symbol. I just couldn't believe that Santa was a bad thing. I think there's room in people's minds and hearts for both the joy of Santa and presents and all the Christian traditions. Same with Easter.

Anonymous said...

YAY on the pages.
So sad the grocery store looks at Jesus like that. Intersting that I've been studying this very thing. People often forget who Jesus was in reality. How he invited Zacchaeus to dinner, not the most religious of religious people in town. I doubt seriously an Easter basket will even have me forgetting Christ or belittling what He did. :-) BUt if it did, I'd have to say my walk with God was pretty shallow.

Stacy Dawn said...

Happy Easter! And good going on your progress!

Anonymous said...

Clearly the woman is missing the point that doing something special for your child is not a bad thing.

I grew up Protestant and chose to convert to Catholicism when I was 15. I love the traditions, the richness of it--but I can't do the everyday Mass or Mass-all-the-time. To me, it makes my special church time feel too ordinary.

One of my most memorable experiences was a retreat at Gethsemani Abbey. We attended our choice of Masses during the Hours (vespers, none, you name it). Hearing the Gregorian chant in such an environment was unbelievable. Especially the quiet times.

Anonymous said...

Happy Easter!!! :)

Tracy Montoya said...

BTW, Mary, I hope you don't mind, but I totally ripped off your cartoon--too funny! I linked to you, though, and admitted you had it first.

MJFredrick said...

Don't mind at all, Tracy! As for the book, meh. And it makes me sad to admit because I love Jenny and this book sounded right up my alley. I'm about half way through and waiting for the romance.

Back atcha, Bonnie and Stacy!

Michelle, I'm intrigued by your conversion story. How were you introduced to Catholicism? Ironically, it's the same old/same old that had me turning away. Even the special Mass on September 11, to pray for the victims, they couldn't step outside the traditions.

Exactly, Mary Beth, Bosey, Tori, Tracy, JoAnn and Trish - if you look at it as What Would Jesus Do, I believe he'd want us to make an effort to make the day special for our families.

Peggy said...

Mary, I made my 16 yo a basket and I will continue until she asks me to stop (which I'm thinking is a long, long time off).

Happy Easter!

MJFredrick said...

You know, Peggy, even if the kids don't appreciate it now, they will when they're older.

Of course, mine is a boy. I gave him FOOD. He loves FOOD.


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