I’ve been thinking a lot about Easter this week. What with History Channel’s “The Bible” and hashtags like #Easter and #EasterFun taking over the Twittersphere, how can you not? No matter what you believe, Easter week is historically considered the most holy/spiritual week in all the year. For us, this year is all about frantically running away from bunnies, coloring eggs, chomping down candy and showing off frilly dresses and shiny shoes. And, oh yeah: Something about that Jesus guy.
(I know we all have our own beliefs, and I respect that… just thought I’d share mine as a mom who thinks about the larger reason of life a little bit more than she used to.)
As someone who was raised Christian, I can admit to getting lost in the spring-week shuffle and forgetting the religious reason for Easter. As a kid, I grew up very involved in my church. As a college student, I went every now and then. As a twenty-something, I went with my family on holidays. Now, as a MOM, I find myself wanting to go to church with my girls… kind of frequently. I actually enjoy it. I’m pretty sure my girls have something to do with it. (They have everything to do with it.)
These days, going to church surprisingly gives me a calmness that I never recognized before… I calmness that I can’t seem to find when I’m at home. Going to church gives me a frivolous excuse to dress my girls up in their Sunday best and bond with them while telling them to sit still and be quiet. Going to church challenges me to teach my girls how to be quiet and respectful in grown-up places (even though we often only last about 45 minutes before someone starts getting restless and melty in the pew). Going to church reassures my faith that everything in my life is as it should be right now, and the big-picture of my life experience is protected and good (even though I often feel like I’m behind-the-ball on something or another). Going to church reminds me to be thankful for the blessings that sometimes slip by without me acknowledging them. Going to church makes me feel more connected with my girls in this big bad world we all live in.
The small-town girl in me will be really blunt: It bums me out a bit that a lot of moms in my neck of the LA woods don’t make the effort to go to church/temple/community groups/whatever. Whatever type of family you have, I will try argue (praying that I’m not too preachy about it) that making the effort to connect to whatever spiritual thing you believe in is WORTH it… for your kids. I come from the old-fashioned school of thought that kids need some type of spiritual exposure if, for nothing else, to serve as part of their life’s education.
On a separate note, I also think the church thing has to do with me wanting to replicate as much of my childhood experiences as possible for my kids. Lots of moms I know (across all religious spectrums) feel the same way about family traditions and practices that they had positive experiences with. Some of my own memories include my mom playing the organ, my sister and I organizing bake sales with our Sunday School class, me singing in the choir every so often (even though I whined and complained about it because I felt strange being a teenager with all the older ladies). All of them, positive memories that taught me something in the process. Without me realizing it, going to church turned out to be a major part of my life… and it still is. I want my girls to be exposed to the same thing, so now it’s my turn to make the effort and expose them. I love them too much not to.
GOING TO CHURCH CENTERS ME. That’s the best way to describe it, I guess. I can’t pinpoint exactly what point in my mom-hood this started happening, but I do know that it’s happening now. And as a mom, isn’t that what we’re all seeking? Some kind of center to keep us sane, refreshed, faithful, renewed and content on a deep level? I am.
And if that renewed sense of self happens to rub off my girls and teach them something about themselves and their spiritual place in the world in the process, all the more fabulous…
WHAT KEEPS YOU CENTERED AND CALM?