Sunday, February 21, 2016

Tough Day for Mom at Church

Last Sunday, Mrs. YDP and I headed off to mass and assumed our usual position (front left near the aisle).  As it was lent, we were involved in our start-of-mass genuflection when a mother with three kids came in and sat in our pew.  My wife and I made room and the family settled in the best they could.

The three kids were aged approximately 12, 4, and 3.  They were dressed up for church, and given as much as they were fidgeting around, it was hard to believe that they stood still long enough to wear a sack, much less good church clothes.

Both of the young ones were a hand full - talking loudly, climbing on the pew, crawling under the seats.  Mom was trying hard, but she was on her own, and the kids smelled blood and were letting her have it.

Some around us flashed the stink-eye.  I have never understood that.  Could she have disciplined her kids like our parents did us?  Certainly.  But she plays by different rules, and I accept that.  She was doing the best she could.  

It would have been really easy for her to skip church that morning.  But nope, she found the energy and the courage to come in.  And yet she was still met with the stink-eye.  We're Catholics.  I thought we loved kids.  Kind of hypocritical, no?

Things got really bad right before communion, and mom finally had enough and broke down.  Both little kids knew it had gone too far, and both got very quiet.  The boy asked, "Mommy, why are you crying?" and cuddled into her side.  Her little girl hugged her feet on the floor.

When we got to the sign of peace, she shook my hand and said "I'm sorry."  I touched her shoulder, smiled wide and said "Do not apologize!"

Again, she could have took the easy way out that morning.  Instead, she brought her kids to church.  They were loud and disruptive, exactly like God made them.

And they were exactly where they belonged.  

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