Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Girl on fire

Easter came around, as it tends to do this time of year. My kids can't wait for the Easter bunny to pay a visit and leave a basket full of candy that they'll never eat.  Seriously.  The kids run around looking high and low for their baskets as soon as they wake up.  They are frantic as they search because not one of them wants to be the last one to find their basket.  Once the baskets have been found they are forgotten.  My kids have had a total of one chocolate egg from their baskets.  This has been the norm since they've had teeth.  I don't get it.  When I was a kid my Easter basket had nothing in it but Easter grass before I was served breakfast. 

One of our Easter traditions has been to attend the Easter vigil at our church.  I remember my Mom taking my brothers and sisters and myself to the vigil and it's such a dramatic way to start the holiday.  I still remember standing in the dark church and watching as the light was passed from one person to another until the church was filled with candlelight.  It is awe inspiring.  I still find it awe inspiring. 

My children don't love the length of the Mass, but they too adore the drama of the plunge into darkness and the slow return of the light.  I am in the fifth year of bringing the kids to the vigil.  At first, watching them holding lit candles in such close quarters was nerve wracking . No, more than that, it was a slight form of torture.  I was positive that one of them was going to light themselves or a neighbor up in flames.  I thought now that they're older, I would relax more this year.  Sadly, after this years drama, I don't think I ever will.  And really, it's all my fault.

I was on the end and had my candle lit by an alter server.  I passed the light to Sam, he lit up Katie's candle, who lit Teresa's, and she passed the light on to Joe. I blissfully gazed around at the softly lit church.  Even our supermarket church looks like a beautiful place of worship under those circumstances.  I kept darting little looks at the kids and every so often hissed "hold your candle away from your head!" Katie in particular was making me nervous.  She was looking all around the church too, but every turn of her head caused her hair to come very close to flames. I tried whispering to her to hold still which was not all that effective.  So I leaned across Sam, taking care to lean away from his candle.  However, Mr. Nosy wanted to get in on what  I was saying to Katie, so he leaned over too, and in the process tilted his candle right into my hair.  Yes, my hair.  Which started to crackle and burn.  Really.  My hair was on fire.  In church.  On the Holiest of Holy days. 

Without missing a beeat, I reached up and smothered the little fire and kept right on scolding my daughter.  I did get a glimpse of the teenage boy's face in front of me when I became a human candle and it was hysterical.  After the moment passed, I sat down in my chair and had to stifle my giggles.  I kept picturing in my mind this beautiful moment and people taking in the serene and spiritual scene around them when, whoosh! Me and my hair ruin the moment.  I am still giggling. 

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