this past saturday we visited another church due to Mass times. we had been at the soccer fields all day & paul was going to be in california all day sunday. the kids had a choir concert sunday night & i just could't bear the thought of sitting through an extra long chaldean rite Mass and then a 2 hour concert with all 6 kids by myself. so we went to a 5pm, mostly elderly, saturday night service at a different church. and then i took the kids sunday night to the choir concert. here are some of the precious moments that i endured...
1. coming in late & having to occupy a pew up front. overhearing people counting heads and then finally overhearing them in a quiet/not so quiet astonished voice proclaim six! six kids!
2. music from a late 70's sitcom along with the head boppers... too much distraction for my poor peripheral eyeballs
3. handing the baby anything to keep him quiet including my brand new 3 hr. old $15 sunglasses. big smile while ripping off the sides. why didn't i just give him 15 dollar bills to rip to shreds?
4. baby fascinated with the texture of the sweater worn by the grumpy old lady in front of us.
5. after previously explaining the specific and very detailed planned out seating arrangements, having your spouse completely taken aback and looking at you like he has no idea why you are giving him a death glare as you are getting bumped for the 10th time sitting next to the one that was to be sitting next to him this week. i'm talking absolutely. no. idea.
6. wrestling a squirmy baby & watching him demonstrate his developing balancing skills on the wobbly kneeler & raising his little chin just above the wooden pew. BAM! very time. chin comes down. crying occurs.
7. the non-catholic refusing to kneel in front of me. i get it, but you are causing a whole wave of awkwardness behind you. i don't want to put my face right in the nape of your neck, so i half kneel for some space. however the person behind me doesn't mind spooning with me... ugh. claustrophobia. when in rome...just kneel when everyone else kneels.
8. the 4 and under crowd love to sprawl out & lay down in the pew when everyone else is standing. the 4 & up crowd love to sit back down on them. crying occurs.
9. that thrill the baby gets when escaping 14 hands & darts towards the altar. mommy's crying occurs.
10. the our father- hand war. who can grab the other's hand the hardest? who can release their shoulders for the most dramatic fall to the floor? who can yank the other and cause the next few people in line to lose their balance? and an all time favorite of raising your arms as high as they can go at the end, maybe hoping to rip off an entire arm. crying occurs. good times.
11. the scent of hand sanitizer coming from the surrounding rows in the air after shaking hands with my kids following the sign of peace.
12. the amazing origami figurines made out of their tithing bills that are tossed into the basket each week are a favorite as well.
13. the delicate dance of "pass the baby" during the Communion line.
the honorable woman. anyone? anyone?
15. sometimes having to explain the island accent of the priest to the children after words like "focus."
17. during a devotion, being instructed to not only open our eyes, but our inner eyes as well. and then having the 14yr old. lean over in a very sarcastic voice "uuuuhhhhhh.... okaaaaay. what does that even mean?"
18. having said 14 year old repeatedly elbow and raise eyebrows at me when the words of the song are "will you take the risk if your life attracts or causes hostile stare?"
19. the freedom the children feel when sitting together as a choir with no adult dictating their every move. i saw one of my children get up to go to the bathroom at least 5 times. in a 15 minute period.
20. being amazed at the drastic roller coaster ride my emotions can take in 1 hour, from steam coming out of my ears type of severe irritation to intense euphoria, weeping with gratefulness for the blessing of my six beautiful children.