There are many scenarios in life where I want my children to behave, but few compare to Saturday night mass. Church is quiet, reverent. People want to pay homage to God in a virtually silent room, where there is nothing to distract them from their prayers.
Therefore, I feel badly for the people who frequent my church.
The "holy" events this week started off eventfully. My daughter decided, on the way out to the car, that she wanted to wear a dress to church. Unfortunately, we were already late and did not have time to pick out a new outfit for her. So Jillian did what any six year old would do: she threw a massive, kicking, screaming, tearing at the leather seats temper-tantrum. We had the pleasure of listening to her screaming the entire drive. At one point, I glanced behind me at our house-guests who were following us to the church. They were smiling and calm. You know. The way I can only imagine the drive to church should be like.
While my husband calmed her down in the parking lot, I led our house-guests and my son into church. When my knees hit the kneeler, my son loudly announced that he needed to use the bathroom. Many people turned there heads to get a look at the people going to the bathroom after his declaration.
My husband and daughter were waiting for us when we returned. The other church-goers obviously felt our lively vibes and did not attempt to sit next to us. Many were standing in the back which was, apparently, preferable.
While my daughter sniffled, recovering from her tantrum, my son read books in a non-whisper, chomped on cheerios, "accidentally" dropped many hymnal books and said "I love you mommy!" every time one of the priests spoke.
To make matters worse, while I was scolding my son for the ump-teenth time for misbehaving, I glanced up at the balcony in time to see one of my students waving to me. Fantastic. Not only did I have to suffer from embarrassment in front of strangers, but one of my students had the privilege of seeing my suffering first-hand.
Every week I vow not to return to church with my children, but every week I conveniently forget the embarrassment and bring them anyway. I'm beginning to see why so many women qualify for sainthood.
Church - 0
My children - 2