Monday, March 10, 2014

THOSE People.

There is nothing quite like taking your kids to church. Can I get an Amen? (No alleluias, please. It's Lent.) So humbling when we're so proud. So quiet when we're so loud. So prayerful when we're so distracting. So still when we're so busy trying to (literally) jump over the pew. This weekend it became clear that we're THOSE people with all the little kids that we're barely able to contain in a 12-ish foot space. Each time we got one bad habit to pipe down, our backs were turned and another one sprung loose. Daylight savings time did us no favors. That lost hour of sleep made for some brutal moments. Between the children around us who cannot keep their eyes off the baby (don't blame them, she's pretty cute) and the trips to the cry room with a shrieking infant and furious preschooler...we just lived through this weekend. And probably this is what Lent is about. Becoming smaller and smaller, letting our egos die, so that God can be more and more in our lives. In that case, we should be saying, "Thank you, Lord, for that hour of Mass."
But let's re-hash anyways, shall we? Everyone pretty much knows what to do: when to sit, kneel, stand. And that's obvious, right? All are (mostly) doing the same motions. Yet Miriam feels the need to stand at the end of the pew during Communion and wave everyone past us like an air traffic controller. "Keep going," her little flowing hand says. "This is definitely not your circus pew yet." And you might be a little relieved that it's not. 

Vivian's a talker. She loves to talk all the live long day. More than once we've sushed her during Mass and she's replied, "I can't be quiet. I just have to talk." The real problem here is that she's not being sassy; she's being completely honest. She feels compelled to talk. Her mouth cannot stop. There's no filter (yet and there may never be) between her mind and mouth. It takes every morsel of self control in her sturdy little body to be silent for even five minutes. One hour of quietude is an eeeeeeeeeeterrrrrrrrrrrrrrnitttyyyyyyyyyyy to this three year old.

And Felicity...11 months old. Her baby noises are mostly happy. And we know she's the one who catches your eye most often. Or maybe she's catching your child's eye. She's trying to. She wants attention and fun in a place where our attention should be elsewhere. Oh yes, and she's just learned that noise where you yell as loud and long as you can while steadily, rhythmically tapping your mouth with your hand. She's perfecting her technique and you just never do know when she needs to test it out. "WAH-AH-AH-AH-AH-AH-AH."
So if you're near us during Mass. We're sorry for our antics and our noise. We're not sorry we have kids, but we are sorry if they're distracting you from prayer. Please give us a pass as we practice these lessons of self control on their part and patience on ours. We have to learn them over and over if we're going to get it right. And if you notice our children being extra great, or even doing one thing consistently well, during Mass, please tell them. It helps. A little.

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