This last Sunday was a normal Sunday in our house. We were up before dawn with a small, warm and blue eyed visitor to our bed. After some squirming, snuffling and snuggling we gave it up as morning time and got up for coffee. Somehow the time between 6 and 9 am ran by and it was a mad rush into the van for church.
Our oldesst was serving at mass, so we only had three with us in the pew. Plus my father in law and brother in law were sitting with us so we had two extra sets of hands. This should have been easy. But I don't think easy was part of God's vision when he made kids.
We started out with a heated discussion about if colouring on the pew and song books was aproprit liturgical movement. Once it was settled with a colouring book, it was time to dance to the opening hymn. Of course the beauty of the dancing was inhanced by announcing at full volume after the song was done that she was dancing a tap dance for Jesus.
Next comes the rest time. When two kids try to both lay down on Grandpa's lap at the same time. This involves much shuffling, kicking and moving of coats, boots and people.
At the sign of peace were we all wish each other peace and blessings with a hand shake we instead have one child refuse to shake hands with anyone and will scream at anyone who looks at her, including her brother who is very determined to give her "peace" .
At communion time, the only time they acutely have permission to leave the pew, we have a dissenter who will not come up with us, until we are three rows and about twenty people away from her and then begins to cry hysterically for her Daddy.
There is of course also the normal dropping of books, crayons, snacks and kneelers. Putting on and off of coats and boots. And movement of people back and forth (and back and forth) throughout the hour. And this was a normal week.
So next time you bring your kids somewhere they has to sit still and look cute and they act like children instead, just remember they are normal. And so are you.