Mother’s Day Out has been so wonderful this past week! I feel so much less stressed, Gabriel loves his little class and teachers, and I get to have one hat on at a time (well, much more of the time). My work for my job is already greatly improved in quality and focus–as is my mothering. I also get to establish more of a predictable routine for both me and Gabriel. I feel like a new woman! 🙂
Gabriel and I go to daily mass two or three times per week now, and it’s been lovely and a challenge at the same time. I’ve been wanting to start taking Gabriel to daily mass for a while now, but I honestly just haven’t made it happen. Our church, however, has a convenient 8:30 a.m. daily morning mass that lasts about 30 minutes. That means it ends just in time for me to walk next door to drop Gabriel off at MDO around 9:10, then get back to work consistently for around 9:30 a.m. God couldn’t have been any more clear that He was dropping in my lap a perfect opportunity to grow in my faith and start a little foundation for Gabriel’s faith.
I’ve always wanted to teach my children to be quiet and respectful during church, and I figure that starting early is a most excellent way to do that. I’ve been quite humbled these first few masses, though. Gabriel is a textbook example of rambunctious: “Difficult to control or handle; wildly boisterous; turbulently active and noisy.”
Yep, that’s him. And I don’t mean to exaggerate (much). He sits quietly in my arms or lap for 5-8 minutes at a time sometimes. But even if I feed him right before or during mass, whether he is sleep or well-rested…the child just doesn’t like to sit still.
Yesterday, Gabriel was near-constantly making some kind of noise in church, including one loud, juicy burp, baby babble, giggles and several prolonged piercing screams. I spent about 2/3 of the mass bouncing him on my hips and otherwise entertaining him at the back of the church.
Of course, everyone is so nice that it makes me want to cry sometimes–especially if I’m at my wits end by the end of mass, like yesterday. Father Bob always gives him an enthusiastic blessing at communion, and talks about Gabriel joining the choir when he’s older, and everyone smiles sweetly at me when we’re leaving.
I will admit now, though, that I realize now that I used to be something of a snob when it came to people and loud, rambunctious children in churches. I always knew that my children were never going to be loud, run around, munch noisily on snacks, whine and be wild, thereby distracting all of the other poor people trying to glean an ounce of faith formation from the mass. My own parents were somewhat out-of-the-ordinary Cry Room Parents. We had to sit in the cry room for years while the younger ones were very little, but us older ones weren’t allowed to misbehave whatsoever.
Now that I’ve got a naturally rambunctious little boy of my own, I have a lot more respect for parents who even take their kids to church. Bravo to them for even going! And to the parents whose children all sit respectfully and quietly all (or most) of the time, please email me immediately and we’ll set up a call!
Interesting enough, a family with eight children–the oldest a boy who looked about fourteen–came for mass one morning last week. Except for one emergency potty visit, those kids barely made a peep. I had my hands full with just one…
I should have gotten that momma’s number.