Wednesday, February 25, 2009

It Doesn't Quite Work That Way

Yesterday is one of my favorite days of the year. It's Packzi Day! (Ummm for those of you not from the Chicago area, as I think this is a Polish imigrant custom that hasn't translated much elsewhere, that's "Poohnch-khee" Day.) You can get them at the local grocery store, but they're much better from a bakery, and from a particular bakery near me, too. These are so much better than the King Cakes of New Orleans' Mardi Gras or the Pancakes of Shrove Tuesday. Much better.

And I almost forgot about them. It's been a busy couple weeks, but luckily I remembered yesterday just before lunchtime. I took Mister Man with me to help choose what flavors we want.

Oh yeah. The flavors. These hugely filled donut-like creations (the only time a year I have any interest in donuts) come in everything from pineapple to strawberries and whipped cream to prune to strawberry jam and more. Way, way more. Granted, they aren't traditionally all these flavors -- fruit is traditional, but the other kinds are way yummy.

On the way to the bakery to get our Packzis, I asked Mister Man if he remembered Packzi Day from last year. He didn't really remember it, so I explained that we only have these on one special day a year. Packzi Day is just one special Tuesday.

So he asked why. Of course.

Me: Well, do you remember learning about Easter in Sunday School?
Mister Man: Ummm, yeah.
Me: Well, tell me what you remember about Easter.
Mister Man: That's when Jesus was killed. And then three days later there was a miracle and He came back to life.
Me: Right. And do you know why He did that?
Mister Man: No.
Me: Well, He loved us so much that he sacrificed himself for us and allowed himself to be killed so that we can all go to Heaven if we believe and are good during our lives. Because He let Himself be killed, we never have to worry again.
Mister Man: Oh.
Me: And for forty days before Easter, we think about what Jesus did for us because we know that Easter is coming, and we want to remember what a great thing He did for us. Those forty days are called Lent.
Mister Man: Uh-huh.
Me: And the day before the beginning of Lent is called Fat Tuesday.
Mister Man: Why do they call it Fat Tuesday?
Me: Well, Mister Man, if you knew that during this serious time of thinking you weren't going to be able to celebrate or do or eat fun things, wouldn't you maybe want to have one last night of fun before you start getting serious?
Mister Man: You mean I can't do fun things anymore?
Me: No, not exactly. Awhile ago, though, people took Lent much more seriously than they do now. They didn't eat meat for the whole forty days. They didn't eat at all on some days -- that's called fasting. Nowadays people usually choose one thing to give up for Lent.
Mister Man: Like what?
Me: Well, some people give up candy or cakes or chewing gum or watching tv or other things like that.
Mister Man: So today is the last day I can eat any candy?
Me: Only if that's what you decide you want to give up.
There was silence for a few moment.
Mister Man: Mommy, I think I'm going to give up my mouthwash for Lent.
Me: Generally, sweetie, you try to give up things you really love for Lent so that it's a sacrifice. Kind of remembering that Jesus made a really big sacrifice for us. You don't have to give up something this year, but maybe in a couple years when you're a little older you can start giving things up for Lent.
Mister Man: Ok. But I want to count the days of Lent. Each day I'm going to announce what day it is.
Me: That's a good idea. Some people make little calendars for Lent and mark off each day as it passes.
Mister Man: No, I just want to announce it.
The car was silent again for awhile. Then, a shout.
Mister Man: ONE!

Right. That'll teach me to try to explain the concept of Lent and Fat Tuesday to a five year old. And I still haven't figured out what I'm doing for Lent. Maybe I'll just give up sleep....


Unknown February 25, 2009 at 7:04 PM  

So spill, what's your bakery of choice? When hubby worked in the city, he always stopped at Webers in Chicago, mmm so delicious. The line would be around the corner at 5am.

septembermom February 25, 2009 at 9:20 PM  

Your conversation with your son is so cute. I love how the little ones look up at you with those big inquisitive eyes and just hit you with question after question. Don't worry about kids figuring out Lent. My older ones still don't really get it! Remember sleep is a luxury for moms. Don't give that up!

septembermom February 25, 2009 at 9:20 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jill February 25, 2009 at 10:42 PM  

I love the conversation with your son!
Now these thingys your talking about from the bakery I have never heard of them.. Pictures... Jill needs visuals!!!!! :)

xxxx February 26, 2009 at 3:30 AM  

I love him announcing it! Ha ha ... that is so cute!

3 Bay B Chicks February 26, 2009 at 4:56 AM  

This is the second post that I have read tonight that talked about Packzi Day. Thanks for actually explaining what it is. I had no idea.

Adored the conversation with Mr. Man. Kids come up with the best stuff...and blogging material. :)


MaBunny February 26, 2009 at 8:30 AM  

No Michelle. You can't give up on sleep. For Lent you have to do something you normally don't do, lol. Hope you enjoyed your day - those sound very good and now makes me want one.

Michelle February 26, 2009 at 9:32 AM  

Megryansmom - Wow. That sounds like one of the really good bakeries. This one doesn't have such a long line, but ... they're pretty good. Mister Man had the last one for breakfast this am!

septembermom - Yep, it's definitely question after question. I look around at so many of my friends' kids who are satisfied with the first answer but never around here. We get into pretty deep discussions! Glad to know I'm not alone.

Jill - Oops. They're all gone until next year. Ummm google packzi? Sorry!

Swishy - Yeah... and so far he's two for two. He's got a pretty good memory (unfortunately for me!)

Francesca - I had thought everyone knew what they were, but even around here I was introducing people to Packzis all day. Glad the explanation helped. Except for my lack of pictures - sorry!

MaBunny - Oh. Yeah. That was the point I tried to make to Mister Man, wasn't it? (And he's since announced that he's giving up cake for Lent... which he doesn't eat anyway.)

Cookie February 26, 2009 at 11:33 AM  

I miss bakeries! any chance you bought an extra one for me???
Too Cute with the announcement :)

Debbie February 26, 2009 at 2:30 PM  

Last night my son informed me that not eating ice cream would not bring him closer to God. I did not have an argument for that. He got the ice cream.

Karen February 26, 2009 at 6:00 PM  

I wouldn't give up sleep. I'm doing that and it's way overrated.

Anonymous February 26, 2009 at 8:57 PM  

I'm 100% Polish...and Paczki (or Ponczka) are traditional donuts that we have on Fat Tuesday before Lent.

They are usually prune or jelly filled. I'm more of a jelly fan myself. :)

Michelle February 26, 2009 at 10:19 PM  

Cookie - Ummm there are no bakeries in Seattle? And sorry... I actually was going to save an extra one for our reverend to bring for Ash Wednesday since he'd never heard of them but my husband got sick, so I couldn't make it to the service.... and Mister Man ate the last one :)

Debbie - He has a point. Our sermon on Sunday was about things like that and how the little "things" we do are more to show others that we're trying to do something than meaningful sacrifices. Gotta love the intellectual powers of the young ones, eh?

Karen - Yeah, I know.... And you don't want to see me when I've been lacking in too much sleep. I'm not the most pleasant person then.

Dana - Yep :) I was wondering if anyone would be offended by my bakery's non-traditional fillngs. But they DO have the prune ones... now that I've tried those ever. And now I have another year before I eat a donut!

Angela February 28, 2009 at 9:37 AM  

I LOVE that he wanted to give up his mouthwash. Too funny! (And great explanations, Mom! It's a tough concept to explain to little ones)

Michelle March 3, 2009 at 8:41 PM  

Angela - Yeah... he's hilarious! Glad you liked the explanations. I didn't feel like I was really getting anywhere with him :)

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