I really love Sundays at our house. We wake up early with Jack and make a great breakfast (today it was two varieties of cottage cheese pancakes and turkey sausage...two varieties of pancakes because the first Martha Stewart Recipe was awful in that it stuck to the non-stick pan no matter what we did, and was just generally a gooey mess) and then head to 10:30 am Mass. My mom & brothers go to 9:00 am Mass so we try to get to our Mass early, so that we can see them as we head in/they leave..but of course today that didn't quite happen (probably because it took us 1 1/2 hours to make our delicious but delayed breakfast?). So when we got there at 10:40 there were no seats (challenging for a 32 week pregnant woman and her husband since they need a seat to contain a certain 16 month old child). Fortunately an usher saved the day by finding a pew he could squeeze us into, which was great because we ended up getting to sit with our best friends/baby #2's godparents, and since Jack adores their entire family I knew Mass was going to be a breeze today. And it was! And what a blessing that was for all of us. But that's not what this post is about. This post is about the week prior, and the weeks prior to that, when our angel child Jack has been a bit challenging during Mass.
Disclaimer: he is actually very well-behaved on the toddler-contained-to-one-space-for-60-minutes spectrum. Even if he wasn't my child, I really don't think I would be bothered by him. But he is my child, and while I'm definitely never bothered by him, sometimes I do find myself embarrassed, not necessarily because of the tiny, noisy-but-normal things he is doing, but because of certain adults' reactions to his behavior (which as I mentioned, is minimally distracting and normally adorable!). A few weeks ago this woman kept turning around and just staring us down. I mean it was really clear that we were ruining life in general for her. John was embarrassed too and mentioned that he "almost said something!" (thank goodness he didn't, I would have been even more mortified!). I just felt so frustrated that she was making us feel badly about having our son at Mass. But I quickly jumped out of the guilt/embarrassment zone and into the righteous indignation zone. Because honestly, when I looked at that 60 year old woman, glaring at us with every peep that Jack made, I thought, "Lady, be grateful this kid is in Mass! We are doing our best to raise him to be a holy man of God, and 20 years from now when you are in the grave, he will be praying for your sorry soul!" Probably not the most virtous internal response but I was a bit peeved by her reaction, and hey, it's true! The children that we are working so hard to form into practicing Catholics are the future of our church, and will be the ones (God willing) leading the next generation in the Faith as well. We may even have a little priest of our hands (he really does love the sign of peace, and he already clearly knows how to say "Jesus!!!" so things are lookin' good, right?).
Anyway, Mass was great today, but if it's difficult next week, and the week after, and especially in the coming months once Baby #2 arrives and we are equally matched (start praying for us now!) I hope I won't lose my own peace & joy (like I said, our Sunday mornings are so great!) because that definitely defeats the purpose of spending time with Jesus, right?
For more on this topic, head over to a blog I love here.