Today is Palm Sunday. For Catholics its the Sunday Mass with the real long Gospel reading....its the Passion reading. Sarah normally cannot make it through the whole mass without getting loud and wanting to run around so I was a little concerned about this week. I had my plan....
1. Take Andy with me.... FAIL, I went alone.
2. Go to the family mass - kids do the readings, sing in the choir, take up the gifts and the talk is usually directed at kids which is nice. .... We did it
3. Sit in the front row to see everything and perhaps Sarah would be inspired by the other kids at mass..... We did sit in the front row with full view of everyone and all the action. My mistake was we were the only ones in the row. Sarah thought it was great she had all that extra room to run back and forth.
4. Tell Sarah we might see some people from school...this was not the best idea as there were no kids in her class there and she kept asking for kids by name, out loud, during the Mass.
5. Take a few simple items to keep preoccupied. My mistake, I had too much stuff.
* I forgot about the Singing Princess Birthday Card from Grandma in the backpack. Yeah, that got opened up around the time during the Passion reading that the crowd was saying "Crucify Him"...so I guess a little song with the Disney Princesses singing lightened things up, though only one note played before I swiped it, said "NO CARD" and put it away. This was followed by a minute of fake crying, thankfully not loud.
* The scarf in the bag provided some distraction, amusement and a real cute moment. Being alone in the pew, Sarah thought it was fun to run up and down on the kneeler and she waved the scarf as if she were in the Rhythmic Gymnastics event at the Olympics. I told her to stop and she looked around and saw a woman behind us with a scarf on her head in prayer - this is not the practice in modern day American Catholic churches, so you don't see alot of people with heads draped in scarves, though at my church, does happen. Sarah turned towards the altar, put draped the scarf on her head and folded her hands in prayer. She then smiled at me....now this was a cute moment I have to say. Of course she took off again and climbed up on the pew looking to jump down to the kneeler. This was when I said "oh no, if you are going to act like a baby and not a big girl, then we are off to the baby room". I thought she would say, "no", but she just handed me the scarf and I packed our backpack and off we went.
Of course as we did the mom's walk of shame, it was the point when Jesus dies and everyone in the church kneels, so yeah, we didn't exactly sneak to the back. We found the crying room empty, Sarah wanted to know what we were doing there. I told her if she couldn't act like a big girl - which her new thing is that she is a big girl, then we had to go to the babies room. Big girls could be quiet and still in mass. Umm, yeah, Sarah was happy to be in the room with Altar on the TV screen and the window to the church.
No one ever gave me a bad look or shushed us in the church. Its so hard for me to focus on the mass when Sarah is so animated and full of life. I know its hard to pay attention for her, she is only three. She gets excited when the bells ring and always points out Jesus so I guess I am doing something right. Two people I didn't know told me how cute she was after mass which made me feel good.
I looked around during mass and thought maybe I sat in the wrong section as there were NO kids in view. I was wondering if all the older people were thinking "Why isn't she disciplining her child better?" or "When my kids were that age.....insert how they behaved at church here". No one exactly smiled at us, but again, its the passion reading, some really sad stuff going on.
Oh well, I will keep praying that Andy will come to Mass with me on Sundays. I will keep asking him. In the meantime, will keep working on a plan to have that perfect kid at church, which I know is setting myself up. Oh well, she IS one cute little girl.
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