Hey, I'm back! Can you hear the angels signing as the clouds part and the sun shines down on me??? :)
Well, I started thinking about this post in Church yesterday. I was really trying to pay attention, but I was continually distracted, and you will read why. It seems I may have written a similar post before, but that's because this pretty much happens every week.
If you want to experience true humility (or humiliation, as the case may be), bring several young children to Church on Sunday morning. It's not like this is a new thing for our family. We do it EVERY Sunday, and pretty much every Sunday, I walk away feeling as if any pride about my child-rearing skill that I had mustered up during the week has been taken down a notch or two.
Let's begin with the cold sore, shall we? That would be the nasty cold sore on my daughter's lip that she felt compelled to pick until it let out all of its disgusting contents and started to bleed. So I had to bring her to the bathroom to wash her hands and stop the bleeding. I have to admit that it looked better than when it was a disgusting pus-bag sitting on my adorable 6-year-old's lip. Yeah, gross, I know. Welcome to my world.
Then my son came back from the children's liturgy with his upper lip all wet and shiny with runny nose contents. I tried to tear off a piece of the paper towel that Faith was holding on her bleeding cold sore, but he wasn't having any of it. I don't blame him, really - at one point, she had the paper towel just stuck to the cold sore and hanging off her face. So, Evan just kept licking at his lip, and he reassured me, "I'll wipe it when I get home."
So far, this is all par for the course with young children. But I haven't even gotten started about the fighting. Somehow, there is always a fight about who gets to sit by me during Mass. Every. Single. Sunday. It's as if that is the only hour of the week that they get to spend any time with me. I think it's more the case that they know we won't wallop them during the holiest moments of the Consecration, so that's when the fighting and bickering and resistance to parental authority reach their peak. I try to discretely whisper in their ear, "If you don't knock it off, you will get a spank when we get home", and pretending they can't hear what I'm saying, they will respond in their loudest possible "whispering" voice, "WHAT DID YOU SAY???" And when I finally say it loud enough for them and the rest of the Church to hear, the floodgates open with, "Well, he's squeezing my hand too tight!" and "She's stepping on my shoelace!" All the while, using such a loud "whisper" that they might as well go up and borrow the priest's microphone to broadcast all of their sibling rivalry to the other Mass-goers. It's pretty ironic that, by the time we offer each other a "sign of peace" (usually a handshake, or a hug or kiss, when it comes to family members), my kids are squeezing each other's hands and saying, "Peashbewifyou" through clenched teeth.
But, by far, the most humiliating moment of our Church experience yesterday was when my son, the 4-year-old class clown, was standing in front of me while I was trying to kneel down for a very solemn moment of the service. I was trying to cuddle him and keep him quiet, and I was wearing a v-neck shirt which had started to migrate south because he was pulling against me. During what I'm sure was the QUIETEST, MOST SOLEMN moment of the Mass, my son observed rather loudly, "Mom, I can see your boobs!
I can't wait until next Sunday.