Articles abound on how to order your mornings for a less hectic, more controlled pace while getting everyone out the door on time, but I’ve found they’re mostly targeted at ONE age group and rarely address a family with kids in almost every developmental bracket. Our kids are now 11.5, 9, 7, 6, and 20 months, so the only thing we’re missing at this point is a high schooler. I’ve been a mom for over a decade (and prior to that, was the eldest of six that spanned an age range of 18 years!), so I have begun to get a sense of what works well for us at this stage of familyhood. For what seemed like forever, I was convinced that my Tiny People woke up every morning with a determination to fulfill their daily mission of making me late for work, and totally stressing me out in the process. By the time I actually plopped down at my desk, I felt like a glass of wine. Not cool at 8am. So I got to thinking…how can I trick these little ones into cooperating? After all, I am a bit older and wiser. Without further babbling, I’d like to offer a few quick tips that have worked well for our family’s morning routine. Take what works, leave what doesn’t, and don’t sweat the rest.
It’s funny how God speaks to us in different ways at different times in our lives. Over the years, as I have reflected on Scripture, I’ve been struck by how a passage or verse meant one thing to me as a teenager, another as a young bride, and something altogether differently now that I am a mother. I suppose this will continue to be true as I age and mature – each season of my life will hold a specific key to unlocking varied meanings of Scripture again and again. In a way, it’s like the words of the Bible are colorful bits of glass at the bottom of a kaleidoscope. As the cylinder turns, the glass shifts and tumbles into different positions, revealing brilliantly unique patterns but all comprised of the same bits of glass.
As you begin to make plans for Holy Week with kids in your domestic church, I thought I’d share what has worked for us as a family over the years. Some of what follows is flexible and subject to change each year based on our schedules, kids’ ages and temperaments, and parental level of exhaustion, but this is the general outline of what Holy Week looks like for us as a Catholic family. Thoughts in red are new things we plan to implement with the kids this liturgical year!
Palm Sunday/Monday/Tuesday – Clean the house, top to bottom, to prepare our home for the Triduum and Easter. On Sunday, we will read this new book from Michele Chronister that I purchased last week. The explanations of the Liturgies of Holy Week are written for probably 5-7 years olds, but the lovely illustrations will delight kids of any age, and the simple summaries of each Liturgy are a great jumping off point for deeper discussions with older kids.
Spy Wednesday – Hide 30 pieces of “silver” (quarters) around the house to remember that the day before Holy Thursday, Judas betrayed Our Lord for 30 pieces of silver. Once the kids find them all, they can put them in the box for the poor at Church tomorrow evening. I shamelessly stole this idea from Catholic All Year. SHAMELESSLY. Continue reading
I sat in his office, my body wracked with sobs. I went through quite a bit of Kleenex. Thankfully, he had a whole box. I couldn’t speak very clearly through my tears. Emotionally, physically, spiritually, mentally – I felt like I was drowning. My husband and I weren’t communicating well. Someone I knew was about to make a choice that terrible for her soul. A fallen-away Catholic, she also put me in the incredibly uncomfortable position of explaining to her non-Catholic spouse exactly why it was considered sinful, and now they were both angry with me. My sister was in nursing school and was struggling to get good sleep and good nutrition. Her health has always been a challenge, so this was a lot for her body to go through. My brother was in his sophomore year of college, and still struggling to adjust to college life. Another brother was going through teenage challenges. My life at work was difficult due to a lack of direction and poor communication. I was a wreck, and I knew it, so I’d finally made an appointment with my pastor. Which brings me back to the sobbing.