For more specifics on what we are doing with our boys to learn about Lent, read this post.
In case you missed it, Lent starts tomorrow. Last year, I wrote about how we were giving up eating out for Lent. This year, I have been a little foggy-headed and am entering the season feeling unprepared. But we did discuss it last night at dinner, and decided on some things to fast from during the season. It seems that my husband and I (and many of our friends) had the same idea for a fast this year. In a culture that increasingly relies on the internet for communication, relationships, and entertainment, we are breaking free, at least for forty days. Obviously, we can't give up e-mail completely. And my husband is a computer programmer and taking grad classes in computer science.
But we are cutting back, way back. In addition to staying off Facebook for Lent, I am limiting myself to thirty minutes of computer time a day. (The only exception to this will be when I need to do work for church and when I am filing my taxes...Do you think the Federal government would take "I'm fasting from my computer for Lent" as an excuse for late taxes?) I am also putting my computer, which currently floats around the living room, back in our office so that I have to go in there to use it. No more sitting behind a screen and ignoring my kids. Oh yeah, and I won't be on it except when the kids are asleep or having quiet time.
Why am I doing this? Pretty simple. I took a good look at my life and the things that were keeping me from parenting well and deepening my relationships with God and others, and the computer was at the top of that list. Who knows? It may even stick, though I may make an exception for blogging.
After my husband and I had finished discussing our computer fast, we asked Calvin if he remembered Lent last year. Once he understood the basic idea, we asked what he thought he could fast from. His first suggestion was playing with Hobbes' toys. We gently suggested that may be pretty hard, since Hobbes would be playing with them and they often like to share or fight over them. Then he piped up again:
"I know! I know what would be a good thing to give up! World of Goo!"
World of Goo, for those who don't know, is a computer game. My boys both love to play it with their Daddy, and it is a special reward for really good days as well as a fun weekend bonding time. Since we are limiting our computer use for Lent, this seemed like the perfect idea. Hobbes is going along for the ride, mostly because his older brother suggested it, and he still isn't clear on the whole Lent thing.
So, in the true spirit of Shrove Tuesday (or perhaps in the indulgent, non-spiritual spirit of Mardi Gras), we are feasting today. I am writing a blog post, sending all those belated e-mails, cleaning out my inbox, and planning to do some good catch-up on blog reading and writing tonight. And the boys and their daddy have a World of Goo date set up for after dinner.
"Um"...you are saying to yourself..."Where does the pizza come in? Is this post mistitled?" Nope. Baby Boy, pseudonym coming soon, has reflux, and in a effort to see what is causing it, I have been cutting dairy out of my diet. In a true spirit of solidarity and love for his wife, my husband (who loves all things dairy more than most people outside of Wisconsin) is giving up dairy for Lent. So tonight, instead of the traditional pancake dinner, we are starting a TwoSquare family tradition: homemade pizza, with extra cheese, and brownies and ice cream for dessert...with maybe a milkshake on the side. Laissez les bons temps roulez!