Can I Give Up School For Lent?

*And other funny questions from around the supper table*

If you have kids you know that there is never a day that goes by where someone doesn’t ask a question that makes you scratch your head. Also, as in my house, I’m sure you never have a day where your kids don’t make you laugh a minimum of a dozen times with the things they happen to come up with to say. A couple years ago I started keeping a record of the funny things my kids say or conversations we have. It has provided us many laughs well past the day or so that we remember what was actually said. We often get out my journal and reread the conversations we’ve had before.

Some of my favorite conversations are about our faith. Many of those conversations take place around our kitchen table. In our home we make it a priority to have all our meals together as a family. Because we are a homeschooling family this is probably much easier for us than for many others. At our supper table we have had just about every conversation you can imagine… the good, the bad, and the gross! We try to make it a time where the kids feel comfortable enough to ask us or to tell us about anything that might be on their mind. With as many children as we have there is always bound to be something unusual on at least one person’s mind. Many lunch or supper conversations will turn to our faith and the kids will ask why we do various things… “Can I drink the holy water at church?” “If I died right after going to Confession do I get to go straight to heaven?” “Does Jesus taste like potato chips when you go to Communion?” (asked by a little one) “Was Jesus ticklish?” “Why was Jesus hung on the cross?” “Why do we celebrate Lent?” “Can I give up school for Lent? Please, I really, really want to!”

Some of these questions make us giggle, some make us really sit back and think. All the questions bring our family closer together in faith. Allowing our children to ask us both the silly and the serious questions helps us to laugh and to study. It’s a bonding moment that we treasure. We pray that our children will always treasure it too.

During Lent we often focus on things we are going to give up or change. In addition to this we should also focus on adding things to our lives that will be beneficial. I’d like to suggest making family meals a priority at your home if it’s not already. In our fast paced world it only takes a moment for our children to grow and move on. We need really focus on the time we have now where we can mold and help form our children, both morally and spiritually. Spending time talking and sharing, questioning and learning at the supper table is one of the best places to do this. During Lent, where we are changing those areas of our lives we should focus not just on ourselves but also on our families. We should question, “how can I make my family stronger, happier, healthier, and more faithful?” Perhaps family time around the kitchen table is just what your family needs. It adds tremendously to our home life and I have no doubt it will do the same for your family.

I love thinking back on the conversations we have in our home. I am so thankful we are able to eat all our meals as a family and spend that time together. Some of my greatest memories both as a child and as an adult are while spending time eating, talking and laughing with those I love the most.

I’d like to leave you with a laugh from several years ago that has stuck with me over time. During one Lenten season one of my children asked their father why we abstain from meat during Lent. He wasn’t entirely sure of the reasoning but nevertheless he didn’t want to leave them without an answer. He looked the children straight in the eyes and said, “Well, you see, when Jesus was in the desert for 40 days with no food or water when he came out of the desert the only open restaurant was a Captain Ds. To honor his first meal we only eat fish on Fridays now during Lent.” The kids, wide eyed and mouths hanging open stared at my husband and one piped up, “Really? That is so cool!” I, of course, laughed with them and then we had a real talk on why we abstain from meat on Fridays. However, to this day, my children still prefer the answer that their father gave them. Years later we all laugh over that one conversation.

This Lenten season I wish you many funny, serious, gross and head scratching conversations around your kitchen table and I pray that after Lent is over your family is able to continue the beautiful act of sharing a meal together each and every day.


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