Usually surrounded by my children, I, of course, missed them dearly, but a sitter had them safe at home and would have them in bed before Mass was even over. Being able to go to Mass alone, after flying solo for several days, at the start of another very busy week, and at the end of a jam-packed Monday would be an over-tired, over-worried, super busy mom's dream.
In that hour that it was just me, I had time to really listen, to prayerfully reflect, and to actually pray without any immediate distractions. Sure, there were other families present, some with young children, but their busyness and their noises did not distract me as sometimes happens.
Depending on who is with me, I can easily get distracted by my own children at Church. Trying to shush them, trying to get them to sit still, trying to get them to stop fidgeting and to pay attention, I know that it's sometimes tough for a kid to sit and attend at Mass. With gentle redirection, and sometimes with 'the look', I can get mine to focus better. Last night, I didn't have to do any of that.
As much as I missed them last night, I was thankful for the one hour that I was away. Keeping my children and my family close in my thoughts, I prayed for them. I asked Mary to pray for them, too.
Today, my children woke up so excited. It's Mary's feast day! they squealed. She's never far from my thoughts, but I'll remember Mary all day today. My children will as well. They will go to Mass today and will celebrate this holy feast day with their classmates. They will sing, pray, and honor Mother Mary. They will enjoy special activities and each other's company on this special day and will tell me all about it when they come home. I'll be ready to listen to their stories. I'll be ready to look at what they made. I'll be ready to smile at their excitement and soak in their joy as they tell me just how special Mother Mary is. She's pretty neat, that Mary, and I'm so glad to call her Mother.
My oldest took another amazing picture yesterday. She edited it and then added a layer of awesome to it. Then she said that I could use the photo for whatever I wanted! After going to the Vigil Mass last night, I knew that I'd use the photo as a backdrop for my favorite Mary prayer, The Memorare.
Thank you, Fin, and thank you, Mother Mary!