With four children ranging in age from 13 years to 20 months, it is a wonder our family has ever simultaneously seen the inside of a church. But my oldest daughter had signed up (during Sunday school and without my knowledge, of course…) to do the reading at Sunday Mass.
My husband and I usually negotiate to amazing lengths on Saturday night about who will take which kids for Sunday school, whose turn it is, etc (I think I nursed my youngest for almost two years strictly because it got me out of going to church on Sunday mornings.) But this time our daughter was doing the reading, so we both wanted to be there and thus the six of us would be attending together. Ugh.
We arrive at the church. We are seated, and my first prayer to God of course relates to my children sitting angelically through the next hour. I curse myself for forgetting to generously give out Benadryl to at least half of these four kids, because the only ‘peace’ I’m going to see in this Mass is when the priest starts shaking hands.
My three year old loudly stage whispers,
“”Mommy, the church is so pretty! How come it’s only open on Christmas and Easter?”” soliciting a number of giggles from the surrounding no-doubt-more-diligent churchgoers.
Ok, so far so good- it’s almost time for the reading- maybe I will make it outta here in one piece! My oldest begins to walk up to the altar. We have already fought about the raggy jean skirt and flip flop-style sandals. I just hope she does ok.
“”MOMMY, SARAH IS GOING UP THERE!! SHE IS NOT SITTING DOWN AND BEING QUIET!”” loudly declares three year old.
At which time the toddler boy farts loudly and begins making the classic “”I’m having a poop”” grunting sounds while his oldest sister begins reading. My eight year old looks like she is going to die of embarrassment. Toddler boy starts climbing under the pew while red-faced oldest is reading. In an effort to pick him up, my too-tight, had-four-kids-and- haven’t-worn-a-skirt-in-awhile skirt loudly rips. In the back.
Three-year-old: “”MOMMY YOUR SKIRT RIPPED! AND BOBBY POOPED!””
13 year old returns from the (don’t even ask me what the scripture was) reading. I grab the toddler and the three year old’s hand, figuring my husband can deal with the older two and Sunday school, and try to escape, holding my three year old’s coat awkwardly behind me so no one sees my grannie panties. God, why have you forsaken me?!?!?
As I exit the church I hear the priest say “”God Bless Us”” and I am hoping it is not directed at us- but judging from the laughter, it is.