Every Good Friday when we were growing up, my mom had a rule. Between the hours of 12:00-3:00, we were required to have “quiet time”, alone in our rooms. A time of quiet reflection during those hours when Jesus would die on the cross. As a mom of two adult children, I now have a new perspective.
First of all, you have to know my mom. She is funny. She has been known, at times, to maybe “stretch the truth” a little (?)… but it’s always funnier when she tells the story. She pulls her grandkids to the side and tells them outright, “Grandma lies.” They laugh. One of my brothers will roll his eyes (usually the dad of the one listening to Grandma’s story), and we move on. OK – So back to the subject… our “time of reflection on Good Fridays“.
Some of you may remember from earlier posts that I am the oldest of seven kids. When I was 10 years old, my mom was 29 and had five kids; me being the oldest. (Good news! Found a family pic from our church directory to capture just that moment in time… That’s me to the right of my mom – Ha!) So when Good Friday rolled around, off to our rooms we went. At 12:00. Until 3:00. To be really honest with you, I can’t really remember much of what we did during that time. My mom told us that it would rain at some time during that three hour stretch, so my sister and I (shared a room) would spend some of the time lifting the heavy shade on our window to peer out and search for those ominous, rain producing, clouds… One thing I DO remember (unfortunately), because she did it all the time. My sister always had more money than me; and she liked to count it. Out loud. Coin, by coin, by coin… She had me as an unwilling, yet captive, audience for three hours. Lucky her. Looking back, I have to laugh. I realized as an adult, that as kids, we actually had “quiet time” a lot!! Not just on “Good Friday”. You see, my mom was also very smart. And resourceful. She was merely attempting to maintain her sanity. That was why she would slip off to the bathroom with her coffee and a weeks worth of magazines. We would hear the “click” as the door locked behind her. The rule…? Don’t knock unless someone is bleeding. Bad.
I was (doubly) blessed with twins when I was almost 30, and they were, and still are, such a joy in my life!! In raising our kids, my husband and I made a conscious decision to pick and choose the pieces of our individual childhoods that we wanted to take forward with our own children. Kind of like combining really dark chocolate with… well; just about anything! It’s all about the mixture. “This” worked; “that” – Ummm… not so much. So guess what made the cut from my childhood? Yep. “Good Friday quiet time”. 12:00-3:00. They could read, work on puzzles, quietly listen to music (pre-appoved; by me!). There was no TV, radio, computer, phone or friends during that time. And they were fine with it really. The older they got, the more they understood why there were being asked to do it. It was a way for them to, hopefully, prepare their hearts for Easter Sunday.
So, Mom – if you’re reading this – you will be glad to know that I still, to this day, honor that quiet time every Good Friday. I usually plan a quiet “project”; something that I can do by myself, at home, without really thinking. Today is no exception. It is a beautiful day and the birds are chirping like crazy. Not a rain cloud in sight… I have selected a “project” (more on that later) and I am ready to put on some beautiful music and spend the time reflecting. Quietly. 12:00 until 3:00…