My friend Cecilia made a wonderful observation a few years back.
“Vigils are a wonderful idea, in theory, but for mother’s? It’s a nightmare.”
At the time, I didn’t agree. Sure, things ended late and kiddos were tired but the Vigils are just so beautiful. But now. . . . well, now I couldn’t agree more. Naps must be had but everyone’s too excited to sleep. Dinner needs to be made and eaten in a timely manner. Everyone must be spit and polished – including mom – bundled into the car with the necessary accouterments (paci’s, blankets, etc.) and gotten to the church on time. And that’s just to get ready. Surviving a 3+ hour Mass is a marathon. With a toddler it can be herculean. Then there’s after. AFTER sleepy children need to be changed into jammies, decorations changed and preparations made. This can mean bed hours after midnight and knowing full well that in the excitement for stockings and baskets it will be an early morning.
HOWEVER . . .
However, it is worth it. Worth it for electric expectation that comes in a darkened church and candlelight reflected off of little faces. Worth it for the mystery that unfolds during a grand liturgy. Worth it for the experience of Christ that the kid’s are immersed in every second we are there.
And oh so very worth it for slow Easter mornings listening to Christian pop from the 80’s, making crepes and just basking in it all.
It all evens out.