So we went to church today, like we do every Sunday. I considered skipping it, but the kids won’t allow it. They love Sunday school and the coffee hour afterwards. They have some great friends there too, so I guess it was a good thing we went. I love it there too, as the people are great and it just feels good to give a little of my week to God, but having a lazy morning sounded so good!
Well, anyway, we get to church late like we do EVERY week, regardless how early we start getting ready. This morning, Ashley got dressed into her dress and tights and cute sandals. She even had a tiny ponytail on top of her head with a bow. (I love having a girl!) As I went to take a shower to get myself ready, all the kids went outside. I paused a moment, thinking it was not wise to let them go into the back in their church clothes, but stopped worrying as it had not rained for a few days. Dumb. I get out of the shower, got ready, and went to fetch the kids. Ashley comes in covered in mud. Her tights are ruined, her dress has mud all over it, and her shoes are caked with the stuff. Dang it! I used wipes to wash the mud off her dress, changed her tights, and looked for her other dress shoes, but I could only find one. Figures. She went to church without shoes…we were late.
Well, we get to church, and the boys all run into Sunday school, even Derek! I drop Ashley off at the daycare, and I turn to try and get to some of the service before the kids came in and ruined it all. As I passed the Sunday School room, I see they are letting Derek put out a candle. My heart stops, but I kept going. They are very brave in that room. I go to sit down in a front pew, and I enjoy about 10 minutes of the service when the boys all come down the aisle. They look so cute and handsome, that for a minute, I was happy to see them. Then they sit down, and Jason and Troy immediately start fighting over the crayons and the one coloring book they have. *Sigh* I convince them to share and turn to Derek who has no concept of quiet. I decide to put him on my lap and hold him. I think I have at least three bruises on my legs and sides, but I at least got him to be less of a distraction. The entire rest of the service, Jason and Troy are conversing about what color to make each part of the picture. They get louder and louder, so I shush them…over and over and over again. And then it is time for communion. I take a deep breath and go to the front to receive. Jason and Troy receive also, but Derek gets a blessing. When they offer the host and the wine to Jason and Troy, the chalice wobbles, their hands move too fast, and I panic until it is over. The priest smiles at me and comments on Troy’s new haircut. I am grateful for the distraction. We then move on to the pew and sit down. I pray. Hard. “Please God get me through this!” We get through. Finally the service is over, and we head to the coffee hour.
Once we get to coffee hour, the kids pile their plates full and chow down. I let them. Then they run around outside. I let them do that too. I talk and enjoy the people that are there. I am lucky to go to a small but amazing Episcopal church. The people are the finest people I know. They help me keep an eye on the boys as they move around the church, help me keep them out of the parking lot, and hold Ashley as if she were their own. I am so grateful for the time they give me to be human for a while before I once again become a mom of four.
On the way home I reflect. I wish we had gotten there on time…again. I wonder if Jason and Troy were as loud to everyone else as they were to me. I wonder if Derek’s constant wiggling was too much of a distraction. I wonder if Father Jim and Father Sean wish I would stay home and be lazy on Sundays. I doubt it. They are good people. I am grateful for the spirituality the church gives me and the opportunities they give the kids. As hard as it can be, church is really worth it. I have seen my boys grow with morality and understanding of people since we started going there, and it is good. I highly recommend it.