Hopefully, my sheep still heard Jesus’ voice today, because mine was repeatedly, purposefully, and rather skillfully ignored.
We began as we always do, with lots of pee and even more crying. Eggs were thrown, Josie confused water with milk and was really mad about it, and James put one singular cheerio in Josie’s eggs on the floor causing toddler war 56,798,987.
Somehow 8:53 came and went before we noticed and 9:30 Mass across the river was the only one we would make on time. I was mad. I really wanted 9:00 Mass at our normal church, where the kids know the drill, and the priest things crying and running up the aisle is entertaining. I blamed our inefficiency on Jim’s decision to stay up too late watching Gremlins, and he didn’t appreciate it.
My frustrations grew stronger when I realized somewhere over the bridge that my purse with all things baby never made into the mess of our car, and since we were going 30 minutes later, Rita would request food and my hooter hider nursing wrap was in the bag and would help me to hide nothing.
As I stepped out of the car, everything in sight was blue. Worse than the trick birthday cake candles, dry erase crayons look exactly like normal crayons and ruin khaki pants and make a freshly bathed three year old look more like a smurf. I used one of the too few baby wipes in the car, and prayed no one would poop.
As I stood in the back of the church where almost 5 years ago I was all dressed in white waiting to meet the groom of my dreams, I held and tried to nurse a bitey teething screaming 6 month old. The acoustics that once made me excited because wedding music is a big deal, were now making all of my children’s poor choice of words and cries more embarrassing and noticeable. I looked at the very spot where I stood before I revealed my bride-hood. Now, Josie was running by in socks, and performed the greatest Risky Business slide of all time, as the priest whom I couldn’t hear preached about lost sheep. James escaped the pew, and still nursing and trying not to expose myself, I had no hands to pinch, grab arms, necks, shirts, whatever it normally takes. My sheep were everywhere. Jim, calm, cool, and still blue-khakied, came walking back and gave me an “its okay, don’t cry,” smile. As we watched our little (black) sheep, disobey and like it, we gave up and made up. “Flocking awesome,” we (inappropriately) joked.
Still feeling a little defeated about how very ba ba bad my black sheep were during one of the only hours I really care about their being good, brother in law Dan made me realize Risky Business, blue crayon, snot, screaming, towers of missals, missed naps, echoes, and the need to re-read every single reading in the car on the way home so I felt like church would count for the week, wasn’t actually that bad.
“We missed you guys at Mass,” he said. “Everybody was pretty good, actually.”
“Um, seriously Dan?” Maria interrupted.
“Oh… that’s right,” Dan said with his head down. “I lost Bailey.”
His lost sheep would, thankfully, be found many minutes later waiting in the car by himself. Impressive and also horrifying.
Happy Sunday, Happy Herding.