Wow, if I could beat my past self about the head and neck region with a large and heavy two-by-four, I wouldn't have the motor functionality to write this post. (Which is rather existential, when you think about it, but that'll have to wait for another day.)
I was selling the toughness of parenthood and the requirements for a spiritual experience so very short. Also, I was apparently meant to be a karmic object lesson: I now have a little kid who, if there is no Children's Liturgy of the Word, goes, shall we say, batshit insane. She's a high energy, strong willed kid, and she just doesn't understand enough of what's going on at Mass to be engaged in any way, which is normal for her age. And she does not sit still well. At all. Ever. Infinity. You get the picture. But she won't get any better if we leave her at home. So we sit there, hissing at our daughter like one of the residents in the Reptile House at the Zoo.
|Bea! Stop climbing on the pews! Bea! Leave that woman's coat alone! Jesus, crap, she fell off the pew again...|
Photo courtesy of The Maryland Zoo
Now, generally, by the time the Eucharistic Prayer rolls around, Bea has stopped running, jumping, climbing, etc. and has settled on freaking out about something. We have no clue what will specifically set her off, week to week, but there's always generally something, the root cause of which is generally the fact that the kid needs a snack. But that's not a bad thing. By then, she just wants to sit on my lap, and I can do that. I sit, more or less blind, with my snuffling five-year-old on my lap, and actually manage to hear the prayers. Sometimes I even whisper along with the priest, although I don't have the hang of the new translations. And it's kind of nice. Really.
As I fell into the rhythm of this grappling match with sanity over the weeks, I could kind of hear G-d. He said, Yes. That's it. Don't put me in a cold marble box. I AM both/and. Let me share your messy, high energy, strong willed life in all its chaotic glory.
But if you could get the kid to stop climbing the statue of St. Joseph, that would be great.