Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Sacrificing a House Guest (In the Name of Valentine's Day)
This morning my kids finally asked the question I have been waiting for since they picked out, colored and addressed all of their valentines this weekend...
'Mom, I know Valentine's Day is a day of love, but why?'
Oh sweet mother of all, I've hit the jackpot, and I don't even care that it's before my cup of coffee is done brewing.
Me: Well, kids, hundreds of years ago it was illegal for men in the military to be married. So, there was a priest, St.Valentine, who married couples in secret, helping to keep love alive.
A disappointed look covered both my kids faces. (You have to keep in mind these are my kids. There's no way to be as random, outspoken and unconventional as me and be raising normal children.)
The Kids (Yes, in unison): Oh. Okay. (And they both look down at the floor, saddened.)
Me: When they found out what the priest was doing, they killed him, and that's why we celebrate Valentine's Day, to honor love and the sacrifice he made for love.
(The kids perk up a little bit, but still seem disheartened.)
The Girl: Oh, okay, yeah, that's cool, Mom (in her 'whatever' voice.)
Me: Well, it is believed that the church chose February 14th as the day to celebrate Valentine's Day because it fell on the ancient pagan holiday of Lupercalia, and they wanted to get rid of it.
(The kids perk up a bit more, and start giggling.)
Me: Now, at Lupercalia, they used to sacrifice goats and then skin them, wearing their bloody skins around and slapping people with them as a way to make sure the women of the village had babies.
At this point, my kids eyes are wide as saucers and their mouths dropped open.
The Kids: AWESOME!!!! (All out laughing begins.) That's so cool, mom.
Me: Yep. So, do you all want to celebrate Lupercalia this year?
The Kids: Yep! Can we? That would be so cool!
The Girl: When we get home, can there be a goat in the apartment?
The Ginger: Better yet, when we get home, can Smash be wearing a goat costume?
The Girl: Yeah, and then we can go around slapping people with Smash.
(More laughter, at the point of the kids almost falling on the floor.)
The Girl: Naw, we wouldn't sacrifice Smash, mom. Just make him wear the goat costume.
The Ginger: Yeah, and then we could have, like, goat chops for dinner, and that would be like we sacrificed a goat. And Smash could wear the goat costume while we're eating dinner.
Me: Why do you all want Smash to wear a goat costume so badly?
The Girl: Because it's funny, Mom. Duh.
The Ginger: Yeah, and because it's Valentine's Day.
So, keep this in mind if you ever decide you want to be a house guest here. My kids with either try and sacrifice you or make you wear a goat costume.
Poor Smash. He has no idea what's ahead of him.