Yesterday was one of the hardest...if not the hardest days at church I've ever experienced. The babies were in full swing cranky mode....didn't want up, didn't want down, arch the back, scream, cry, hit, fuss, and on and on. Luckily Cam wasn't working and was there to help. It was basically divide and conquer! We spent the service coming in and out of the nave like a revolving door. There we sat...the two of us in the Narthex with the babies. Usually one of us can take kids out and one will stay in the service with the other kids. Not yesterday! Those sweet babes were demanding....too much for one parents. They have begun to push, shove and fight for the attention of one parent. So, we each had a cranky, tired, teething baby. We would switch off...for variety.
I began to get cranky myself. Having thoughts like, "I could be at home in my pj's doing this", "What is the point, I'm sweaty, exhausted, and not hearing a bit of the service". To top it all off during the homily my friend stepped out to inform me that Mr. P and Busy Guy were rough housing and goofing off...up at the FRONT of the church! OH! As I opened the nave door I could hear them giggling over the voice of our priest talking. I had t0 walk in...all the way up to the front of the church, crouch down and inform my boys to get up and come out with me. Super embarrassing!!! I just walked out without looking at anyone. The boys went downstairs for timeouts....AND lost all screen time for the day.
Somewhere near the end of the service...one that seemed like the longest on Earth...I was finally standing in church. I managed to cross myself once, utter a few words of a prayer, sing a sentence or two. I was holding Baby George, he looked up, gasped and pointed up as he yelled, "Mama". He was awestruck looking at the icon of Christ in the top of the church's dome. It melted my heart. It took away all the strain and irritation of the day. I told him, "Yes, that's Jesus". I kissed him on his head and hugged him tight. It made me recall something that I once heard a priest say. He said that as parents it's our ministry to bring our children to church. To raise them up in the faith. Even when we only utter one prayer, say one Lord have mercy, or make one sign of the cross that we are doing God's work. It was a hard, hard day but I do take comfort in those words and in those moments.