To Church and Back

My kids loathe attending church. I mean they truly hate it. The sitting still, the hearing words they don’t really understand, the up and down, the kneeling, the memorized prayers that they haven’t memorized yet, and they don’t like singing. My kids aren’t quite about this dislike either. They yell, scream, throw fits, act horribly at church so they might get sent out (so we stopped that), they call each other names, punch each either, constantly ask when it will be over, tell us they see no reason to go, there is no sense it at all for them, and to be honest it wears us down so much that we are not regular church attendees. There are 5 of them and 2 of us and if it were just a matter of a little bit of fidgeting well sure, but oh it is not. No one in our family is hearing the gospel when we all go 5 on 2, it is just us doing crowd control the whole time. So you can imagine the excitement and thrill when we told them we were driving 6 hours to go to church. Haha and not just regular Mass, but a First Communion which is longer than regular Mass. Plus, we were driving 6 hours back right after.

I was already at my wit’s end before we even got in the car. The moaning, the complaining, the anger directed at me, the eye-rolling, the whole kit and caboodle. We survived, we made it, and Sunday morning we were getting dressed only to discover that my shoes were still at home. The only shoes I had with me were pink gym shoes, which didn’t really match my navy dress. My husband agrees to stop at Target and run in to pick out some shoes for me, so I wouldn’t have to be seen in gym shoes and a dress. Once at church we try to sit in the pew with the First Communicant but we are a large family so we end up in the back, which is actually the best place for us. My 2-year-old refused to stop crying unless I was standing up holding him. Just me. No one else. Not sitting. Only standing. My 3-year-old didn’t want the 2-year-old to have all of my attention so she followed me to the back where we stood for quite a while. One kid in my arms and the other wrapped around my leg. This being somewhat ridiculous I went back to sit down. There was some commotion, a little bit of the 2=year-old sneak out the back door, the 3-year-old chasing after only to get her fingers caught in the doors, and then some more standing in the back of the church, followed by sitting in the pew and having my tampons dumped out of my purse and held up to show the nice family behind us. There was fighting over the pen and paper, and then some laying down in the middle of the aisle, but at least we were in the back. My older boys were actually quite good. We had to separate them and they didn’t really participate, but they didn’t cause a scene after the first 5 minutes. By the end of Mass I was exhausted, and I have no idea what was said– like none.

We go back to enjoy some brunch and a little playing outside before we load up the car to head home. I believe I forgot to mention that I forgot the charging cords for all of our electronic distractions and our van doesn’t have a DVD player, and the AV outlet is broken, so the kids got to suck it up and enjoy some old fashioned staring out the window for 6 hours. My son summed up his weekend by saying- This weekend really sucked because we had to drive 12 hours to go to church and we didn’t even get electronics.  We tried to explain the value of family, being there for big moments in each other’s lives, how the people we showed up for really appreciated it, sometimes we have to try to be a little more selfless than selfish, but I am not so sure the point really stuck with him. Especially, since he had a social studies test to study for, 4 pages of math, and 5 chapters for his reading class waiting for him once we got back. Oh well, one day he will understand. I hope.

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