Irish Examiner - Feelgood - - Parenting - TRIC KEAR­NEY

WEL­COME to Good Fri­day with a dif­fer­ence. To­day we are quite lit­er­ally wit­ness­ing his­tory, the first Good Fri­day in 90 years when those who wish to do so, can legally pur­chase an al­co­holic drink.

Am I count­ing the hours un­til open­ing time?

No, I’m not, be­cause amaz­ingly enough, this year is the first Good Fri­day I’m not a bit thirsty.

I’m un­sure if my lack of thirst will last the full day but it’s an in­ter­est­ing quirk in my per­son­al­ity to think that just be­cause I’m not for­bid­den to do some­thing I im­me­di­ately lose in­ter­est in do­ing it.

Los­ing this tra­di­tion I sus­pect, will change Good Fri­day for­ever. For some, I’m sure it’s a sad day and they will mourn its pass­ing, although I’ll not be among them.

How­ever, I do smile at the irony as we in­sist the church should have no say in po­lit­i­cal life, yet em­brace the re­li­gious feast which is Easter and most es­pe­cially the bank holiday Mon­day it brings our way.

As a child, it al­ways puz­zled me as to why it was called Good Fri­day in the first place as there didn’t seem to be much that was ‘good’ about it.

We had to go to the church for the Sta­tions, were told “it’s Good Fri­day,” ev­ery time we an­nounced we were

My Lent as a child usu­ally con­sisted of a to­tal ban on choco­late or sweets, apart from St Pa­trick’s Day when we ate our­selves sick

hun­gry, and we ate fish fin­gers for din­ner.

How­ever, there was one very ‘good’ thing about it — it was fol­lowed by the glo­ri­ous day which was Easter Satur­day. The day Lent fin­ished. In our house, that mo­ment came at mid­day. We were shocked to learn there were oth­ers who be­lieved it con­tin­ued un­til mid­night, but we had no in­ten­tion of break­ing with fam­ily tra­di­tion.

My Lent as a child usu­ally con­sisted of a to­tal ban on choco­late or sweets, apart from St Pa­trick’s Day when we ate our­selves sick.

Come Easter Satur­day, my brother and I were up early count­ing the hours un­til mid­day de­cid­ing what to eat first, although it was never an Easter egg. They were not al­lowed be touched un­til af­ter Mass on Sun­day.

Will I miss that mag­i­cal end of Lent mo­ment come mid­day to­mor­row?

No, be­cause de­spite the fact I don’t do Lent very well, or at all, I will con­tinue to hon­our the tra­di­tion of sit­ting down at mid­day to eat the first of my gathered stash of Easter good­ies.

When it comes to Easter, my chil­dren have be­gun their own tra­di­tions. This year they told me they were not giv­ing up any­thing for Lent but in­stead were ‘do­ing’ some­thing. I’m not overly con­vinced by the dif­fi­culty of this new tra­di­tion com­pared with our ‘giv­ing up choco­late and sweets,’ es­pe­cially as one has spent Lent keep­ing her room tidy, or not as the case might be.

They’ve also, for many years, been vis­ited by an Easter Bunny. This bunny likes to scat­ter eggs about the gar­den, sup­pos­edly hid­ing them, although some show a dis­tinct lack of ef­fort and are clearly vis­i­ble from the kitchen win­dow.

I sus­pected once upon a time that there would be an age limit on this vis­i­tor, but I’ve been proved wrong as he con­tin­ues to come, de­spite the fact my chil­dren are now, bar one, no longer legally chil­dren.

The eggs this bunny de­liv­ers are also dif­fer­ent to those I re­mem­ber as a child. Ours tended to be along the lines of ‘small’ or ‘a lit­tle larger than small,’ whereas theirs I would de­scribe as ‘large’ or ‘enor­mous’.

Yet, de­spite their greater size, I don’t think any­thing can top the magic of the small eggs of my child­hood with the sweets hid­den in­side.

How­ever, rem­i­nisc­ing about the past doesn’t mean I don’t em­brace new tra­di­tions, es­pe­cially if I be­come thirsty later tonight.

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