Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Oh, Let's Just Call it CAN'T

Lent is not going well for me so far.

I went to church on Ash Wednesday (surprise Amy Poehler! I AM religious) and really listened while I was urged to reach out, to renew, to reflect and forgive. Well, it always seems like a good idea to reach out, renew, reflect and forgive. Easy? Not so much.

My reaching, renewing and forgiving were recieved a little less than enthusiastically, which is where I always get tripped up. I pull out my mental score card and shockingly, I am always in the lead. I then wait for the other party to catch up before resuming civility. Childishness is a thing I seem to have invented, you know. To be honest, I managed to remind myself to take it slow and continue plugging away. Then I went to church on Sunday and after that VERY SPIRITUAL experience, I am now a little tired of lent. Less than one week in.

I haven't been very good about bringing Johnny to church, see. He wants to spend his time walking around, talking loudly, pooping and crying. If there is eating that is cool with him too. But don't ask him to sit quietly, man- that is not cool. Normal toddler behavior. That doesn't really fly at church, you know? And since I hate the cry room, as it seems like an invitation to bad behavior we scrapped the whole thing altogether when he became as mobile and opinionated as he is now. All of this is to say that he's only had a few weeks reintroduction to Mass. His feelings on church seem to match my feelings on lent currently.

On Saturday we started off at the end of a pew, reasonably. He lasted for the first two readings before the writhing and screeching began. I took him to the back, and my mom joined us shortly thereafter with all of our things. I think I counted two or three dirty looks while all this was happening. We then made our way into the cry room, and I shut the door before he could escape. That was when I heard the loud tongue-click, and whipped around to see some old (Catholic, but still) BAG shaking her head at us and trying to taser us with her eyes. She didn't have a crying child with her, or any child at all and there was plenty of room in the church to sit with the quiet folks. So why sit in the cry room? My mom whispered to me that they couldn't hear the priest with the door closed. Well, all the more reason to not sit in the cry room where there is great chance you won't have total quiet if you ask me, but I opened the door while blushing furiously and had to immediately run out to chase John who did what any toddler new to church would do if there was an open door- ran out.

Then I let him climb the stairs to the choir loft and toddle around up there. I didn't like to do this, because HELLO, invitation to bad behavior sent by yours truly but had no earthly idea what to do with him by then. When I held him from behind as he peered over the loft, I got another couple of head shakes and pointed looks from the congregation. Well. Peace be RIGHT UP YOUR ASSES, thanks.

We left early. I cried. Yay, lent! I told my mother how poorly all my lenten resolutions were going, despite wanting to uphold them positively and privately. I told her I want to give up. I told her that I wasn't made of the stiff upper lip necessary to... uh, be a grown-up who has grown-up relationships. That isn't really what I said. What I really said had a lot more F bombs. I'm pretty sure that what I said boils down to this sentiment, though. I'm a score-keepin' thin-skinned BIYOTCH.

But I don't want to be, so I'll give myself a few more days to settle down before trying again. I know that the reactions of others aren't about me, and people don't need to be judged for not meeting my overblown expectations. I'm not too obtuse to realize that perhaps this lenten season is about me getting over my big fat self and being okay with the fact that plenty of people get along without me just fine. I don't deserve a thank you for wanting to resume a relationship.

I'm still at a loss as to how to manage church, though. I want Johnny to go, but don't need more hassle than I already have. I may just go alone for awhile, or become Buddhist. They don't have lent, right?

The amount on the screen is the number of goldfish and or cookies required for Johnny to behave in church.


Blogger Uncle Mit said...

Well, considering Methuselah was thrown out of a church function there for being underage, you are doing ok. With the late winter we're having you should probably get a gold star for trying to take the little guy to church at all. He'll come around, and SPRING IS ALMOST HERE!

9:44 AM  

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