Linking with Camp Patton because Grace gives her kids Mass grades, and its a great idea; one of which my father in law is a huge fan, and a notoriously tough grader. I tend to have a little less red-ink in my pen.
We were threatening a timely arrival. I had it all figured out in my head. There were exactly 3 minutes to coax them into finishing their yogurt, 2 minutes to load them in their carseats, and 1 minute to run back into the house for baby mum mums. “I have to poop!!!” he shouted. It was an unplanned time-sucker, and when we miraculously made it into the car with seconds to spare, I felt really bad about rushing his business.
Uncle Miker and his long legs sat smushed in the pretend third row that’s really not meant for anyone to actually sit, but we were a free ride, and he wanted to go to Mass. I promised ice cream for good behavior, and “ABSOLUTELY NO ICE CREAM” for refusal to listen. Pssshhh.
It was a weekend of family fun at the farm, which means, attending a church designed as a semi-circle. Its great if you like to see everything that’s happening in the pews, but, not so great if you’d rather keep the 3 kid circus hidden from the too many eyes to which its made visible. Its the feast of Corpus Christi, which is one of my favorite days, so I was sure God would give me something good to think about…
We arrived with at least 30 seconds to spare, and for the first 30 minutes, Josie managed to repeat “thanks be to God,” and James generously distributed missals to everyone within a sharing distance, whether or not they were interested. Rita sat happily in her baby seat, but when we made eye contact, she looked at me with a longing and a confusion that could only mean one thing: I forgot to nurse her. I scrambled to find a baby mum mum, which only made Josie want a baby mum mum, which made James want a baby mum mum, not because he likes them because he definitely doesn’t, but because he seeks justice in all circumstances so long as justice means he gets his fair share. Josie got louder, James got louder, Rita wanted out, I got more flustered. It was mid-homily, and I was determined to keep everyone in the pew without using the cry room, but the eyes were looking, and the toddlers taking advantage, and James was rocking in Rita’s seat, and Rita was tap tap tapping at my chest because she knows where the goods are and tells me about it until I listen. James wanted up, Josie wanted up. I scrambled, Jim scrambled, as the flesh of our flesh drove us relatively crazy, and even with the extra helper, those little bodies were ruling us. Uncle Miker used all of his tricks, but Josie was a goner and the “lets clean the pew with the baby-wipe” trick had expired. James was thrilled to receive a $5 dollar bill from his new favorite uncle and managed to fold it 37 times before he finally put it in the basket, generating several smiles from the sweet elderly people surrounding. His patience for being quiet had ended and despite my “absolutely do not follow your dad to the back,” he went, and it was embarrassing. He came back a few minutes later and recited the tail end of the “Our Father” beginning with the word “trespasses,” which is the fitting if you ask me or most people that know us. It was a victory of tremendous proportions, because reciting his prayers with him at bed time usually take every last breath of my energy. He was generally disobedient for the rest of Mass, but didn’t seem to think so when he declared, “I was a good listener, right mom? and now we get ice cream, right mom?” Too many uncles that like you were at dinner James, so, yes, you got ice cream, too much ice cream.
If we are doing averages, everyone got an A for the first half, and an F for the second, with a few redeeming Our Father moments.
Josie: C-, she took off her shoes in the last few minutes which accounts for the minus, and she held up the communion line as she stared and stared and stared at the Eucharistic minister for a reason that I do not know, and then, I had to drag her near the altar, as Rita continued begging for milk.
Rita: C, I feel bad ever giving her anything but an A, especially because I’m the one who forgot to feed her, but, she was pretty loud.
Happy Feast Day to all. May you all have a few extra minutes to adore the one and ones that matter during the feast of his body and blood.