Wednesday morning, Eloise woke up bawling and begging not to go to school. Are you sick I asked, did something happen at school that made you not want to go back? What is wrong? Eloise answered that she just felt sick and couldn't go on Wednesdays anymore. Wednesdays? Why not on Wednesdays? Well, then she changed her mind and told me that I could go ahead and bring her on Wednesday..but not until 9:30am when Spanish starts.
Think, think, think...what is so bad about Wednesdays from 8:30-9:30? Aha moment...church.
"Eloise, can you tell me why you don't want to go to school on Wednesday mornings before Spanish?"
More tears..."Mom, it's church. I mean I don't like church...at all. I LOVE God and all the stuff about God and stuff, I just don't want to go to church anymore. It's boring, Father Joe is really boring, and I hate just sitting and standing and kneeling and just listening to boring stuff. I would rather learn about God from Sister Sara. She doesn't make it boring. Please don't make me go this week, because this week is Ash Wednesday and we have been warned it will be even longer than usual...AND they are MAKING us go to the front for ashes on our heads. I don't want to do it."
Okay, confession time - my bad mommy inner self - also "not liker" of church and disgruntled ex-Catholic secretly wanted to high-five her and say "way to be, sister...let's go have coffee instead and skip it this week - and then thought, yay! she is not going to be a nun or make us be Catholic"...but good mommy prevailed...
"Eloise, if you really don't want ashes, I cannot imagine them MAKING you get ashes.. can you just tell Sister Sara you would rather not go to the front? You need to go to Church this week."
I decided to take her to school - on time - on time for Church anyway and she would have to decide what she wanted to do once she was there.
When I picked her up after school she seemed her typical happy and silly self and didn't mention church, ashes or Father Joe. I didn't see any ashes on her forehead, but didn't want to ask about it.
Later she said that Church was better than she thought and she DID get ashes after all. She did wipe them off shortly after though. I think it still counts. Unfortunately, she then asked me if the ashes were from all of the dead Catholics and pets like our dead cat Wilshire. It was then that I realized that perhaps letting the girls play with our dead cats' and dearly departed Grandmas' ashes last week was a strange activity for a snowy day. They did have tons of fun picking out bone fragments though. Yes, it is true - we did do this. It seems so morbid now..but really, if I can back up for a moment, it was very sweet - they wanted to dump Grandma's and Wilshire's ashes together to make sure she was taking care of him in heaven. They are now together in the cat urn on the side table. It's lovely, really.
Anyway, I explained to her that no, it wasn't a bunch of ashes from dead Catholics...it is suppose to be the ashes from the palms from last seasons Palm Sunday services. Of course I said it with a chuckle.
After our traumatic day, she did mention she is giving up sweets for 40 days and will help me with more chores around the house, without complaining. I knew there was a silver lining somewhere. God is good.