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Daily Nation : January 29th 2014
6 Living The fast and the perpetually curious fatherhood WHEN FASTING IS SEEN AS A GAME BY JOSAYA WASONGA email@example.com “T hree days and three nights.” That’s our new family tradition. Each end of year, we fast from December 29, and break on January 1. It’s our thanksgivingcum-petitioning service of sorts. We don’t let our daughter in on certain stuff; especially sensitive stuff. She’s lousy at keeping secrets. Before you can whisper, “hush”, you’ll be the chatter of nine apartment blocks. Hallowed handle Our daughter must have overheard us planning to fast. Next thing we know, she’s insisting that she’s also in. Curiosity? Perhaps. “Fasting is not eating or drinking anything for a whole day,” we let her know what she is getting into. Lest Pudd’ng thinks it WHENEVER YOU ARE FASTING, DO NOT LOOK GLOOMY AND SOUR AND DREARY,” I QUOTE AND TELL BABY GIRL THAT THIS ISN’T THE TIME FOR A LONG FACE. Josaya is a game, I add that even Jesus Christ fasted, and that it is something all Christians ought to do. “But don’t tell your friends you are fasting. It’s between you and Jesus,” I advise. The “name that’s above all names” always gets Pudd’ng’s attention. So when I drop Jesus’ hallowed handle, baby girl throws her hat in the fasting ring. Pain via Dolorosa Speaking of Jesus, a TV station recently aired The Bible series. It kept us glued to our telly. Plus, it brought the gospel to our living room. During the crucifixion scene, we saw our daughter’s true Christian colours. From her mood-swing, you would have thought that the ultimate sacrifice was happening in real time. Pudd’ng started by whimpering when Jesus was being whipped. Then she “graduated” to weeping when Christ was stumbling and struggling with the burdensome cross, on the road to Calvary. When they showed tight closeup shots of nails being driven into the Lord’s hands, she bawled like she had pain transference. Tenderoni and I spent the better part of that episode comforting our distraught amicus Christ. Dos and don’ts Three words, on the eve of the fast, bring a smile on our daughter’s face. I read from Matthew 6: 16 and 17 (AMP). Herein Jesus lays the basics for fasting. “Whenever you are fasting, do not look gloomy and sour and dreary,” I quote, and tell baby girl that this isn’t the time for a long face. “But when you fast, perfume your head and wash your face, so that your fasting may not be noticed by men but by your Father…” Wednesday January 29, 2014 DAILY NATION The three italicised words above make Pudd’ng to smile. I can see where her raring-to-go mind is at: Tenderoni’s beauty kit. Soap opera There was a time Pudd’ng came to the living room from the bathroom smelling like Sta Soft lavender fresh (the fabric softener). She had used it to lather her hands. One morning, months ago, Tenderoni was upcountry and I was getting ready to take Pudd’ng to school. “Dah-dee?” she piped. “Did mom carry her perfume?” And so it goes … “Jesus didn’t mean that you literally bathe in perfume,” I clarify. Poof! That’s the sound of baby girl’s bursting “bubble bath”. Day one … “Are you sure about this?” Tenderoni keeps asking Pudd’ng. Mom is sure her daughter will faint or cave in within the first couple of hours. Pudd’ng insists that she’s all good. “Let her be,” I tell Tenderoni. “Who knows, perhaps there’s something God wants us to glean.” Without breakfast, having eaten our last meal the previous night, Pudd’ng says she wants to go and play with her friends. “Baby, that’s not a good idea,” mom maintains, urging Pudd’ng that she needs to conserve the energy she has until six pm when the pair will break their fast. When Pudd’ng comes home at lunchtime, her lips are dry and ashen. “Put some lip gloss on,” Tenderoni tells her. Baby girl returns with an oil field … sorry, oily lips. Tick, tock … “How many more minutes?” Pudd’ng keeps asking every second minute. We advise her that always checking the clock is the surest way to stretch hours and hunger pangs. Fast family Day two. “Do I make breakfast for you?” Tenderoni asks — more like tempts — Pudd’ng. She answers with a question, “Today we are fasting up to what time?” When she hears that it’s the same schedule, she thinks for a moment, before saying that she’s good to go. Our curious cutie lasts up to midday. By D-Day, when we attend the New Year mass, Pudd’ng has capitulated. Tenderoni holds tight, though. My MO? Three days and three nights straight minus food and water, multiplied by thanksgiving-cum-petitions. Fathers have to do what fathers have to do. One of which is leading by example. I know this much is true. A family that fasts together… um, almost fasts together, breaks through together. Fasting like Jesus: “Fasting is not eating or drinking anything for a whole day,” we let Pudd’ng know what she’s getting into. Lest she thinks this is a game, I add that even Jesus Christ fasted, and that it is something all Christians ought to do. “But don’t tell your friends you are fasting; it’s between you and Jesus.” The “name that’s above all names” always gets Pudd’ng’s attention. So when I drop Jesus’ hallowed handle, baby girl throws her hat in the fasting ring.
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