Last Night

July 6, 2009

We have an unusual church.

Good unusual, not bad unusual.

It is family-integrated which means that all the children worship and learn right alongside their parents and other adults.  It also means that there is no segregation of the ages into Sunday School classes or Children’s Church.

Also?  No nursery.

Which brings us to last night (which is when our church meets).

Six-and-a-half of our children sit very well through church.  They listen, they participate where appropriate, and they can tell you what they learned from the sermon.

The other two-and-a-half children are……um……ahem……(clear throat loudly)…..still in the learning stage.

Holding Almost-3-Year-Old on your lap during the service is akin to holding a toddler-aged gorilla on your lap during a 32-hour plane trip to Russia.

And last night, 4-Year-Old decided to take THAT 2-hour frame of time in all of last week to act like she did not have parents and did not understand the meaning of obedience.

And 1-Year-Old was happy and pleasant to be around…….

if you have a hearing deficit which I do by now because his volume button came broken and I don’t want to exchange him for a quieter kid.

Although last night, the thought occurred to me.

Because behind and beside us sat two families who MUST give their children tranquilizers before they leave home to come to church each Saturday.  That’s how quietly they sit.

It’s nauseating and humbling.  Because JUST when I think that I am getting this mother thing down pretty well, I go to church and see these two families and all my hopes are dashed.

Dashed.

You just don’t get to use that word much, do you?

Okay.

So.

Last night was so traumatic, apparently, that my mind somehow rebelled into a dream early this morning that went like this…….

I was in my parent’s church (which is NOT family-integrated and a church where some of the men wear suits and the women don’t wear denim jumpers and flip-flops) and I had all the children with me and, for some reason, I was up on stage where I noticed two things……

Almost-3-Year-Old was riding down the center aisle on his faded Little Tikes car with the rocks inside, and……

I was in my jammies.

Think about that one for a bit.

One of my children was pushing himself loudly down the aisle at a church that doesn’t fully understand and appreciate the whole lots-of-kids-and-they’re-not-in-children’s-church thing, and I was embarrassed and vulnerable up on the stage……

IN MY JAMMIES.

And after I woke up, the only positive thought I could come up with was….

At least I wasn’t naked.

 

 

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2 Responses to “Last Night”

  1. Back Mommy said

    Well, Allison thanks for the post. I was cracking up because you were stating what I normally speak before church.

    I remember when my handsome husband and I started going to our church. I would stare around this room of “perfect” families with “perfect” children and wonder what they do to keep those blessed babes still! Meanwhile my four year old would be climbing on top of then choking the three year old while my seven year old would sit in her chair with her knees up to her chin and her dress down to her waist wondering why her dad doesn’t want the whole church to see the color of her underwear.

    Thankfully, last night my dh was assigned as the “usher” and we got to hang out in the hallway. It makes it much easier to deal with tornado kids in the hallway that’s for sure.

    And another thing that makes our church so nice… all those “perfect” parents with “perfect” kids aren’t so perfect anyway and at least they don’t downcast prideful eyes on those of us who are still trying to figure out how to keep the little ones still in the night…

  2. Laura said

    I’m so glad to know that I’m not the only ones who has kids who just don’t know how to be reverent during church!
    The parents of those quiet ones tell me that they “practice” being reverent everyday and that’s why their kids sit so well in church. That’s nice. :-~ Not seemingly practical for our crew though.
    I am glad that our church has different meetings–we get a break between classes, plus the kids get to go to their age appropriate classes for 2 of the 3 hours.
    I do bring a “goodie” bag with me for the main meeting–No snacks in it…Just the kids magazines we get from the church for the younger kiddos–so, if they are not going to listen to the talks, then they can look at the magazine quietly. That way, they are getting some sort of religious teaching and are quiet enough for the rest of us to listen to the talks. Once they get to be about 8 yrs old, they are then expected to sit still and listen instead of reading during the meeting.
    It doesn’t work all the time, but it’s something for them to do…
    And you know what–most people who have had kids can sympathize with you…To have your whole crew at church is quite the challenge–You do great with that one… You’re where you’re supposed to be, whether you feel like it or not–you’re setting the example by living the example…and will be blessed greatly for your efforts–Heavenly Father knows what you are doing…and your intentions… It takes long range vision to see the good it’s doing…
    Hang in there!

    Have a HAPPY!

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