This morning, the clocks changed back. One would think this would be an opportunity for a little extra snooze time. Not so when you have a sick puppy and three kids whose clocks you forgot to change. At 5:30 a.m. they were up and ready for breakfast, playing, arguing and all things loud & annoying. Toss in the fact that it’s Sunday and Catholic education day, and now we’re really behind the eight ball.
We managed to get ourselves dressed, teeth brushed (well, 3 out of 5 ain’t bad), and walked in just before our priest began to line up at the back of the church for the procession.
And then it started. Screaming. Crying. Noises…from a child just about 8 pews ahead of us. I saw the mom’s face. Embarrassment. Maybe even a bit of panic. But mostly embarrassment.
She tried to pick up the child. She tried to comfort him on her shoulder, while patting the head of her older child; the older child, no more than 5 years old, so you know this little one was perhaps entering…as we speak…his terrible 2s.
I tried to catch her eye. I tried to let her know it was okay. I tried mental telepathy to let her know she didn’t need to be embarrassed. She didn’t need to panic. She was a mom bringing her two little children to church. To celebrate her faith. To be a role model to her kids, and lead by example.
I imagined standing up and jumping pew to pew until I reached her. I would then tap on her shoulder, and tell her she was doing a great job. She needed to know. But instead, I waited for her to scan the room, to see if there were any disapproving eyes. And she saw me. And we smiled. I had my three kids with me. Mine are older, but I still had to stand in-between my boys to prevent them from giving each other noogies.
Raising kids isn’t easy. It’s not perfect. They cry. They scream. They poop their pants. You can’t just sit them down and expect them to not say a word, not move and not interrupt your praying & singing, for 45-60 minutes on a Sunday morning during church. As a mom, as a woman, and as a human being, I get it.
So hey, if you’re reading this…I want you to know you’re doing great. You were there. I saw you.
You hugged him. You comforted him. You showed him the eyes of Jesus when you looked at him and scooped him up. You showed him your compassion. You showed him your patience. You reminded me to be the best I can be to my kids. You reminded me to show compassion when I sometimes don’t feel like it.
Thank you for being there today. And someday your children will thank you, too.