B works on Wednesday nights, so I hemmed and hawed for a while, then decided to take K with me to the Ash Wendesday service at church last night. It wasn't ideal, since our church doesn't offer a nursery, but I finally came to the conclusion that if our church is truly open and affirming, they should be welcoming to their fellow child of God, even at an evening service, and if it really bothers them, maybe they should pony up with the child care.
K did as well as you can hope from a two-year-old at bedtime at a Taize-style service with lots of periods of silence. I did have to take her shoes off so she wouldn't make noise when she kicked and things got a little dicey when she insisted on taking a cup of communion grape juice and I wouldn't let her get any more. But I saved the day by pulling out the bottle of milk we had with us and serving her shots of milk in the tiny communion cup. I also had to whisk her to the narthex a couple times, but at least I didn't have to do the red-faced parental march of humiliation, hauling of a screaming child out of the church. More importantly, she was quiet enough that I was able to get something out of the service.
We had the choice of being anointed with healing oil or given the burden of ashes. I chose the oil and decided that it would be my mission for Lent: healing myself, mentally and physically. Obviously that's not something that can happen fully in seven weeks, but I can take the opportunity of a season of discipline and reflection to try to break some of the bad patterns I tend to fall into. So my two goals for Lent are to go to church every Sunday I'm not working to try to reconnect spiritually and to work on my diet to help myself physically. Since most of how I eat isn't that different than the low glycemic load diet, dieting will largely mean trying to give up the twin monkeys of Cherry Coke and Wawa chai that have taken up permanent residence on my back. I can't count the number of times I've tried to give up Coke, so we'll see if I have any success this time.
We saw my cousin and her five-week-old baby today. Oh goodness, newborn babies don't weight anything, at least when you've been toting a 30 pound toddler around. The baby was just about the same size K was when she was born. Oh, how I want a baby again.