The essence of independence is to be able to do something for one’s self. Adults work to finish a task, but the child works in order to grow, and is working to create the adult, the person that is to be. Maria Montessori
I have some personal Lenten penances that are sort of standard for me -- no candy or chocolate, eating simpler food, reading little to no fiction, praying more and trying to accept little irritations more peacefully as God's will.
But while I was showing my 8 year old how to zip his coat (! I know!) I realized there was an area that would be very fruitful for me as Lenten penance. Teaching my kids to do the sort of mundane things that most moms teach their kids without even thinking about!
Literary discussions, reading aloud, playing a game upon request, even helping with Algebra II and giving romantic advice, I'm there. But my kids had to watch other kids to learn how to tie their shoes.
So this gives me a wide field of opportunity. I can teach my kids little things that are useful to know. Like many other crosses it may turn into a treasure. I felt very good when my youngest ran outside to sled with a jacket he had zipped all by himself.
Maybe letting my children grow in skill will help me grow a little, too.