Sunday, January 22, 2012

3 - The Adventures of Kids in Church

Guilt isn't as much a motivator as one might think.  I have been guilty most Sundays for the past 2 years, and only occasionally do I get to church.  I love going to church, really!  There are nice people and an engaging pastor, so what's the problem?

Well, I am fortunate to be a Stay-At-Home-Mom.  I worked up until my 2nd born, so, I know how difficult it is to be away from your kid 5 days a week.  And, I adore my kids.  They are also very energetic, and the baby is what you might call 'strong willed'.  So, taking my 3 kids to church is much like trying to get 3 puppies to hold still for a picture.  Even when they try their best, someone ends up falling off a chair, swinging their feet and causing an annoying bump, bump, bump on the chair, or asking a question too loudly during a prayer.  Most people are tolerable of this.

If we live through the 20 minutes of church before the kids are dismissed to Sunday School, we enter the next mommy adventure.  "Mommy, please stay with me!  Are you going to stay?  Stay the whole time?  Are you going to leave me?"  Oddly enough, my children would be the first to run off in a crowd, without a worry as to where I am.  But, if I try to walk out of a room, they are clinging to my leg.  When my oldest was not quite 3, I was at the zoo, and he started to wander.  I stood back and followed him, so that he could realize he was lost, become scared, and hopefully learn his lesson.  He wandered around until he found the playground, which was, thankfully, closed.  Wouldn't that lesson have ended badly?  He pulled on the gates in frustration, then turned around and walked back the way he came.  All in all, he was walking for about 45 minutes.  Finally, a worker noticed him wandering, plopped him up on a golf cart and picked up his radio.  I of course popped out and claimed my child.  Not a single tear.  But, leave them so I can get my haircut?  The floodgates open.  My children are amazingly independent and attached to me all at the same time.

But, today, we made it to church.  Wesley, my youngest, just turned two, and is now consolable, usually.  He still cries when I leave (or realizes I'm gone), but, he can be distracted.  It wasn't always this way.  The other two coerced me into going down into Sunday School with them.  Which, ended up working out because the class was full with 8 kids, so I was able to help.  The best part of the morning was that my husband went!  His duck hunting buddy was unavailable, so he had no one with whom to brave the icy rivers.  Even though I missed the sermon, he got to hear it.  And, I'm in no position to be pointing fingers, but I'm pretty sure I squeeze a little more 'God' time into my week than he does ;-)  Besides, I actually learned something in the kid's Sunday School lesson!  It was a good start to the day, followed by a nap for Wes, and then snowmen, snowballs, a snow fort for everyone, and it ended with my husband cooking dinner!  I am feeling very thankful for a wonderful day.  I need to figure out how to have more days like this.

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