I don’t know if you’d call me a religious woman; I’m probably more what you’d describe as, “spiritual.”
So, there’s many a Sunday when I can be found in the throes of worship, praising my great love for a higher authority; St. Mattress.
But on the days when I haul my ass out of bed with every intention of getting a little Jesus in me, my kids don’t seem nearly as enthused.
“Mooooom! I don’t wanna go! It’s….. boring!”
Be that as it may, my sweet loves, we’re going.
Then there are the hearty debates over what constitutes proper church attire.
“But, I’m wearing khaki shorts with my Pokemon shirt! And Jesus wore sandals, so it’s ok!”
“I love my Sheriff Callie dress! People can see around my pink hat.”
I am not a fashionista, unless you count the avant-garde ensembles I whip up with Target’s Merona line, and I don’t expect my kids to be either. What I do expect is a modicum of respect for our activities.
When they are finally wrestled into mostly decent attire, we get in the car and the bargaining begins.
“If we have to go, do we have to stay long? Can we leave after we have the cookies?”
Just so you know, the “cookies” are communion wafers. Maybe we can dunk them in the wine while we’re at it, for a fully blasphemous experience.
Jesus must love me because if He didn’t, I’d surely be struck with a bolt of lightning when I entered church.
At church, getting settled is a chore in and of itself. I always look for a pew that’s mostly empty, and preferably occupied by other kids. I figure I’ll get fewer dirty looks that way. The people who are serious about their Jesusing get a little judgy when your kid crawls into your lap instead of kneeling.
You can imagine what kinds of looks I get when my little princess rolls around in a pew with her favorite fuzzy blanket.
O! The Christian irony.
Before long it becomes crystal clear that the Sundays I have decided to “worship” at home have negatively impacted the kids’ religious education.
“HEY! Who’s the guy in the green robes? And what is he holding?”
That “guy” would be the priest, and he’s holding a chalice. Kinda fundamental to know.
Then, long before the cookies and when it’s acceptable to leave, hunger overtakes my children. It doesn’t matter if they had a big breakfast, two snacks, and a goat sacrifice before we left the house. Somehow, church makes them ravenous, turns off their voice modulator, and forces them to proclaim ad alto voce, “WHEN DO WE GET CHOCOLATE CHIP PANCAKES?!?!”
Maybe we can have a little nosh after we learn about suffering and deprivation. I am feeling pretty deprived of sanity, composure, and politesse at this point. And who knows? The time we spend together over brunch may end up being more educational than the time spent in church.