Mass Grades and a Momily.
F is for Family and also failing.
Mass attendance with children is all about learning. While certain souls of piety may focus on the ever- incredible qualities of God (preferred), sometimes the biggest lesson is more practical. For instance, this week I learned to never sit behind a man who has crutches. Unless, of course, I prefer being both accidentally and purposely whacked and necessarily preoccupied with continually removing children #3, 2, and 1 from inappropriately handling the kind stranger’s metal walking device/irresistible weapon within a toddler’s reach instead of soaking in the message of Jesus. Lesson: live and learn pew placement and do your best to avoid accidentally sitting near an arsenal.
And while I strongly wish I could say the armament of two toddlers and a baby was the only distraction of the hour, the fat lip, but thankfully not lost front tooth, received from Rita’s impressive head flail, as a display of her physical repulsion to any limit to her crutch and kneeler acrobatics, also played an important role in the family’s worse Mass showing in weeks. In a dramatic “am I bleeding!?” head turn I was told, “its not even a little bit swollen, pipe down and grab Josie.” Her impressive, yet still inappropriate, kneeler turned balance beam splits and jumps paled in comparison to the should- have- been- napping breakdown of her older and louder, melting loud by the minute, big brother. The fire hydrant running of two noses made for a great hour to forget bringing tissues and/or baby wipes. Rita discovered and finished a half eaten pretzel which I realllllly am hoping came from her own car seat and not the floor but whose to know? Josie spotted and announced each and every “bad guy!!!” spotted in the Stations of the Cross, just as Rita decided to throw books at the floor, me, and other childless adults. To the cry room we went to stand off in the distance just like the tax collector in the Gospel except not as holy or genuine. And in one final blow to the ego, in a most impressive move, Josephine managed to carry the toy boat I specifically requested stay in the cry room pew for Communion and whispered “ I pulled a fast one, momma” with a grin and a giggle shattering any last bit of her duped mother’s pious effort to receive the Eucharist with a straight face.
But maybe bad behavior from 3 kids is what a righteous mom needs to realize its not about me and what I want and maybe the 45 kneeler- crushing- toes were each a humble reminder to de-Pharisee and worry less? Or to buy steel toe boots? Its one of those, I’m sure.
Come at me with some spiritual lights, it’s a bit dim over here 🙂