Talking to God is a good thing. Sometimes I like to close my eyes and quietly go through the things I could be doing better. I unload my burdens, center myself and listen to the sound of old ladies being slapped in the back of the head….er…maybe not. But, as our Sundays have taken an odd turn, and deposited us abruptly, in the middle of “Church Circus”, I’m glad there’s so many passages in the Bible that talk about God loving children. He must. Otherwise, during mass, they’d be banned to the parking lot, fat faces and sticky fingers pressed to the stained glass. Can’t take yourself to the bathroom? No admittance.
Nothing’s safe or sacred, these days. Pre-baby-era, I’d casually get ready for church. A long, hot, shower, breakfast of toasted bagel, and an hour of reading, TV, etc, and I was ready to slip into a carefully put together outfit and mosey my way to the car. Of course, once I was there, I had no problem picking out a seat for one or two, hunkering down, and concentrating on the next hour, feeling sorry for the parents who couldn’t “keep their kid quiet” while the rest of us were trying to grow closer to Jesus.
“You hear me lady? I’m trying to become Christ-like, so stick a pacifier in that baby. Jesus wants little Bobby to be quiet so Paige can concentrate on petitioning God, to forget her many indiscretions, and let her into heaven. This is serious kid…so zip it.”
My apologies to any mothers who’ve ever fallen victim to my lack of patience. Take comfort in the fact that I’m now standing on the front lines, throwing up blocks, saving prayer books from becoming hamster bedding, retrieving pacifiers from beneath pews, cleaning baby spit from the same pews, and trying to keep the kid, in front of us, safe from a baby hook to the face. Little Jimmy’s gonna need to learn to bob and weave a little faster, now that the Kellermans have found Jesus.
Preliminary activities, really; the real fun being found in the “theft prevention” program I participate in, while trying to kneel-down. Why sing along, with the rest of the congregation, when you could be saving Mrs. Dinkmeyer’s wallet from certain doom? Word to the wise, babies are like monkeys. With a certain sort of stealth, they latch onto the pew, in front of them, and dance their wily, little fingers down to the purse below, and simply “pluck” from it, whatever seems to strike their fancy. I’ve become a master of the art of “put the gum back into the purse, before the woman with the crazy eyebrows sees it’s missing” type of finesse.
Of course, I’m not the only one fighting the good fight. I took a little time, yesterday, to survey my fellow soldiers. A waif of a woman was trying to keep her baby boy from pulling a Thelma and Louise and going into free-fall. Another mother opted for the “tracking” method, strapping “squeaky” shoes to her little girl, in the hopes that she could hear her escaping. Total plan backfire, as this resulted in truckloads of embarrassment as they “sqeeked” their way, to the very front of the church. My personal favorite? Probably the dad who, giving up on a diaper bag completely, had stuck one, solitary diaper, in his back pocket.
As my years, on this planet, could be numbered in all sorts of ways, I’ve decided to keep fighting the good fight and continue hauling our little sideshow act into church, every Sunday. So get excited, we could be coming to a pew near you.