Saturday, July 6, 2013

Maybe we could just stay home

It's the height of festival season in Saskatoon, Sask., and there are loads of activities to keep families busy, to soak up the sun, or to just whittle away a nice summer day.

The jazz festival wrapped-up, the air show is this weekend, there are concerts galore, my favourite food festival—Taste of Saskatchewan—starts in a couple weeks, Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan kicks-off their season this weekend, there are parks, spray parks and pools-a-plenty, and if the water level goes down, we can enjoy the river and all it has to offer again.

When my wife and I think about taking the kids out to enjoy all our beautiful city has to offer, I find myself thinking, "Or, maybe we could just stay home."

The scenario is a familiar one: we have to fight with at least two kids to go to the bathroom before we leave; even though I built lockers for each kid in the mudroom, there is sure to be a fight over real estate with a screechy, "I was there first;" a collection of stuffed animals that would make any toy store proud gets gathered; at least two kids need snacks this instant; the toddler still in diapers decides now is the perfect time to drop a bomb in said diaper; there is a lengthy debate over what shoes to wear (funny, it's just the girls who do that); and someone screams bloody murder that a stuffed animal got left behind a nano-second after the door gets locked. And this is summer, when we don't have to bundle up.

Just leaving the house can be exhausting. "What?!? There's more? Just let Daddy have a quick nap before we leave the garage."

But we want more for our kids. We want them to experience the world around them. We want them to know the joy and excitement of discovering something new. We want them to know how blessed we are to live in a great city in a great country.

Before we had kids we said we didn't want to be parents that used their kids as an excuse to not do things. We may have to do things differently, or do different things, but it's worth the effort, even if I don't see it all the time or right away.

I understand why some parents have simply abandoned the leaving-the-house-Sunday-morning ritual. I've said to my wife several times, "This is why parents chose to stay home instead of go to church."

But we want more for our kids. We want them to experience the love of the one who created them and the world around them. We want them to know the joy and excitement of discovering all their Catholic faith has to offer. We want them to know how blessed they are to have the freedom to worship and to have a community—both in Heaven and on Earth—that supports their journey every step of the way. We want them to love and be loved.

Just as we made a commitment to foster activity and discovery with our children, we made a commitment to pass on our faith. And the rewards of that will be infinitely greater than having fun during festival season.

Now, what shoes should I wear?

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