Lent, Minnie Mouse Exposed and Other Humiliations

By Carissa Douglas

(Author of The Little Douglings Series )

Last Tuesday, I was wearing bright pink, Minnie Mouse head pajama pants for most of the day. In all fairness, I was reupholstering a chair and I knew that would require a lot of bending and squatting, which when performed by a mom, almost seven months pregnant with her 11th, can be somewhat unsightly -flesh toned crescent shapes popping up particularly in the belly area that maternity wear had promised to keep covered. Minnie Mouse offered coverage and I've accepted that sometimes a pregnant girl just has to wear what fits... and hides things that should be concealed for the good of humanity.

However, on this particular day, I was greeted by one of my enthusiastic sons. "The mayor's here!" I froze while my eyes popped. Our mayor lives a couple doors down from us. She's lovely and had welcomed us warmly when we first moved into the area, before she was mayor, but I wasn't ready to greet her in my pajama pants at 3 in the afternoon! "Go talk to her outside while I run upstairs and change out of my pajama pants!"

He nodded and I ran as fast as I could to make the swap, who am I kidding, I waddled  as fast as I could. I heard the front door opening and to my horror, caught the end of my son's conversation with our guest, "... Yeah, she's just upstairs changing out of her pajamas." I ran (again read waddled) down the stairs and "laughed" saying, "Oh kids are so funny!" Thankfully, I looked into the face of not the mayor, but of a friend of mine from church, who I knew had probably experienced similar child-induced embarrassing moments.

Why did I relate this series of humiliating events? Because this is a perfect illustration of my Lenten journey this year. As much as I wanted to feel prepared and felt I was even going a bit above and beyond (like a very pregnant gal attempting to reupholster a piece of furniture), I feel like I was caught leaving out some of the basic things that have been a part of my spiritual life. I added an hourly devotion (joined by my children and they easily put me to shame in their adherence to it), but was neglecting my usual prayers and choosing to do other things during the time I usually do my rosary. I'd given up some things, but found myself overly indulging in others.

At the end of it all, I knew that if Christ in His kingly adornment had shown up at my doorstep ready to escort me home, I'd be standing frozen, feeling severely under-dressed in my fuzzy, Minnie Mouse head pajama pants. Thankfully, Lent is not over and I'm ready to enter the confessional once again and try to regroup. So, Lord grant me strength, wisdom and perseverance for the remainder of this blessed time, that I may use each opportunity to lovingly carry out both the duties of my state and the spiritual devotion You so greatly deserve.

I will still wear my pajama pants when necessary, but they'll serve to remind me of the insight I've been given... And I will also keep a pair of non-Minnie Mouse head pants nearby just in case.

Author and Illustrator Carissa Douglas helps parents and caregivers teach their kids how to grow closer to Jesus with fun, illustrated stories that rhyme. She lives in Georgina, Ontario with her husband, Patrick and their eleven young children. The Little Douglings series seeks to teach children the richness of the Catholic faith through the promotion of the sacraments. To Explore more by Carissa Douglas, Visit www.littledouglings.com

And Check out her book I Go to Jesus

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