Betty Duffy

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Little goodies

This morning, my two-year-old came into my bedroom while my eyes were still closed. He does this most mornings, climbs in bed with me--which isn't difficult. Since our bed is a mattress on the floor, it's often where the kids collect first thing in the morning, their round heads burrowing into exposed cracks between me and the mattress. But Baby had something on his mind this morning, and he wasn't diving under the covers until he gave me what he had collected in his hand. "Here, Mom," he said, sort of urgently as compared to his usual demeanor. It was important to him, to be divested of the tiny object before anything else could happen this day. There was also in his manner, just the tiniest bit of pride.

I opened my hand to see what he had brought me, and he deposited in my palm, the crunchiest little booger. "Oooh, thank you," I said.

"You're welcome, Mom," he said, then crawled under the covers, to relax and suck his thumb.

And I lay there wondering if this were truly a gift on his part, if his two-year-old mind had registered the good feeling of dislodging the bit from his nose, had felt the sensation of rolling it around between his index finger and thumb, and thought, "This is something Mom would like." Or if he was actually grossed out by it and just needed someone to dispense with it on his behalf.

Anyway, I dispensed with it. There are a few things I keep of the kids': locks of hair, baptismal candles, extraordinary works of art. I don't, however, keep boogers.

So I've been thinking all morning about how this might be a metaphor for something--because I'm desperate for material, and not much has been going on around here since we returned from California. Just Ash Wednesday, and the start of Lent, and now we're chugging along doing all the normal stuff we do. The sun has started to make sporadic appearances outside. Mud has found it's way into the house. And really, all I'm doing for Lent is one simple little thing that I ought to do anyway. Unsurprisingly, I've been successful, even though I did take Sunday off.

My primary goal this year in terms of Lenten sacrifice, was not to make myself confused--since usually I come up with complex algorithms of sacrifice and additional prayer, that leave me so screwed up on what's what, I can't help but flunk Lent. No more. This year, it's one thing, one crispy little thing that may or may not be a gift to God--it might just be something I want to get rid of. But either way, it's something that's completely mine, and that I can offer with urgency and love. And so far, it's been a fine Lent, a winning Lent, you might say, where simplicity and littleness makes the heart grow fonder.

So, there's a metaphor, for you. Hope you enjoyed it.


Erin said...

I am doing the same this Lent -- one simple little thing that may or may not be a gift to God, but it certainly helps me to calm, and relax, and better myself each day. I'd say it is definitely a winning Lent... no flunking here!

But a booger? Now that's a tricky metaphore.

Theresa said...

I can totally relate to the booger! Wow. I could not stop laughing.

I've chosen one that I thought was going to be treacherous, but in all reality it isn't that hard.'s to simple sacrifices and meager Lenten offerings.

Misha Leigh. said...

Love this. Feeling queasy - but love it!

Kimberlie said...

OK, I think you are the only one who can come up with a metaphor between a crusty booger and a Lenten sacrifice. Kuddos!

BettyDuffy said...

Thank you!

mrsdarwin said...

I did the complicated algorithm thing, and now I don't even know where I am. I'm thinking of chucking it all up and just giving up tea, which would actually be a sacrifice that impinges on me all day long, and would a clear physical deprivation of the sort that reminds me that God alone fills all longings.

Melanie B said...

Oh I love the booger metaphor. That seems exactly right: Here is this thing it's icky but it's also somehow a part of me. I don't want it, getting rid of it even feels good right now. Take it, please.