10 January, 2011

The RED Hour

At our house the "red hour" is any hour in which preparation for an event departure takes place.

The most regular occurance of the "red hour" is Sunday mornings before Mass. Oddly enough, or perhaps not so oddly to you mamas and papas out there, the hour before Mass is probably one of my least holy of the week. As a sort of examination of collective conscience, let's review.

First Commandment (You shall have no other gods before Me)
Yes, there were several moments where I considered that skipping Mass might be easier than giving John Ross a last minute bath to extract the yogurt and maple syrup from his hair.

Second Commandment (You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain)
Yes, Clara's incesant whining has elicited several "Jimminy Cricket!"s and "Good Lord!"s from my otherwise careful mouth.

Third Commandment (Honor the Sabbath)
Yes, I work for the church and have been known to work on Sundays. Working on Sunday is not so much the issue as is the fact that I don't take equivalent time later in the week to focus on quality family time. I have been known to get myself so wrapped up in my work, the laundry, the bills, and the family errands that I have neglected to make myself free to love my family and take time to rest. Even after creating the world (and you can bet God knew how badly we were going to mess it up by the next day), God took time to rest.

Fourth Commandment (Honor your father and mother)
Yes, I have neglected my role as mother by denying the importance of my spiritual life. I have not treated myself with patience and given myself the necessary prayer time with God.

Fifth Commandment (You shall not kill)
Yes, I have barked retorts and ordered my husband into action in a frustrated attempt to get us out the door on time. I have treated him with disrespect and killed his otherwise cheerful weekend demeanor.

Sixth Commandment (You shall not commit adultery)
Yes, I have put clean toddler tights and trousers ahead of my husband's pants. I have put my children and my need for community approval ahead of his needs.

Eighth Commandment (You shall not bear false witness)
Yes, I have been know to offer my children the example of a sarcastic comment such as, "Oh yeah, you're daddy is such help!", when in fact he deserves great admiration in their presence.

Ninth (You shall not covet your neighbor's wife)
Yes, in haste I have neglected my appearance and worn both jeans and oatmeal. In inattention I have dressed immodestly for the occassion of Mass with a dress that was perhaps too fitted or a skirt that was too short. I have not acted intentionally to protect the integrity of my husband and others.

Seventh Commandment (You shall not steal) and Tenth Commandment (You shall not covet thy neighbor's goods)
Yes, I have been known to take the last cup of coffee to soothe my Sunday morning nerves. I have also been known to get frustrated at the amount of time it takes my husband to get ready, not because of the time but because I want it too...

All jest aside, my examination proves our imperfection as parents. However, as my husband has so aptly and lovingly pointed out recently, we don't want to set the stage for Mass inside the "red hour". Mass is a celebration and most families don't like to start a celebration with an arguement in the car on the way over.

This weekend let's work together to have a collective "white hour". That is, an hour of peaceful preparation and loving interactions. And if it means we have to start early, so be it.

I'm setting the alarm for 4 a.m...:)

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