And then I realized that was insane.
There are no awards for "perfect" moms who serve all the most Irish foods on St. Patrick's Day and nobody even cares. The dinner doesn't taste better. The boys aren't happier. I am not more organized or more peaceful or more mature or any of the other feelings I am actually trying to cultivate in myself. Its ridiculous. We can see how the corned beef comes out and if it still isn't cooked enough we'll have it for breakfast. We can eat Polish Sausage out of the freezer and it will be quick and all the boys will love it (its one of their favorites). I have a soda bread that I bought that I can serve with extra butter. We can eat carrots (so Irish!) and we'll be fine. We don't need to spend more money on buying last minute festive foods. We don't need to spend more gas on running madly to the store at 6 PM. We don't need to spend our energy or harvest a big crop of stress (mommy yelling at the kids and boys all fussing as I pack them into and then haul them back out the car fro my manic trip to the store) all for the sake of a "festive meal." We can eat broccoli because its green and read the real story of St. Patrick and recite his breastplate prayer that the boys and I are working on memorizing.
I can cut myself free from the out of control madness. I don't need to act like a loony just because I am a woman and I feel pressure to be homemakey and clever and warm and creative. I can be all those things without being insane. I can do all those things while saving money. I can do all of them in smaller, low stress ways. I also don't have to manifest all of those things TODAY for St. Patrick's Day or risk losing my badge. There are no prizes for most harried mom, most overextended woman, most ridiculous self-deception.
There is a real legacy and a real man to celebrate in simple ways.
There is home and us and just having a meal at the end of the day.
There is a limit to how much we need fancy and celebration.
I can cut myself free and so can you. This is my Lenten gift to myself and my family and God. Maybe by sharing it, its my gift to you.