Today, we decided to go to the 9:30 service at church. Sometimes we try the nursery with the twins and other times just one of us will go and take Caroline. Sometimes we go to the 11:30 service, and sometimes we can't seem to get it together to go at all. Today started out fine. The kids were perfectly dressed and polished. They each picked out a book to take. The twins had their blankets. We got a seat near the front so they would be able to see the action. I promised (bribed?) a trip to Target for play-dough for stellar behavior. This was going to be a good day. Do you sense things about to fall apart? Sam didn't like to books we brought. Emma Kate wanted to sit by Caroline. Caroline wanted to play with an acorn (that she found in the parking lot on our way in) that kept falling in the pew in front of us. Sam wanted to be held. Emma Kate wanted to be held. Only by me. Sam didn't want Emma Kate to touch me. Emma kate didn't want Sam to touch me (I don't think she wants him on the same planet for that matter). Sam's blanket fell. Caroline wouldn't stand for the Gospel. Emma Kate's blanket fell. Emma Kate wanted Caroline's acorn. Sam wanted the acorn. Get the picture? The noise we were putting off as a family was getting increasingly louder and my patience was getting increasingly more thin. I finally broke up the fight between the twins and got Caroline to pay attention as the priest was consecrating the host. About this time, a loud squeaking came from the back of the church. Everyone turned around. The priest stopped what he was doing. Because of holding two toddlers I couldn't get a very good view as to the source of the noise, but it was getting louder and louder as it was getting closer to the front of the church. When I finally was able to get a look, I saw an older man walking with a small child who was using a walker on wheels and leg braces. The walker was squeaking and dragging along with the child's legs and braces. This little boy, who was all of four or five, was slowly making his way back to his seat on the left side of the church. I felt an enormous amount of gratitude for the small problems my children were giving me. I felt a huge sense of gladness that we attended the service that we did because I needed this message to reach me loud and clear. My children kept on misbehaving and arguing right up until the end of the mass, but I had a renewed patience level and attitude. I have thought of the little boy from church quite a bit today. I know that all children are blessings and all children have their own difficulties, but if his father can walk beside him with everyone looking and the service going on while missing some of it, I owe my children more of my own patience.
With that renewed patience we made chocolate chip cookies, ate some dough, left the dishes in the sink, and decided it was nap time. Now, THAT'S a good weekend!