With our first quiet Sunday for a long time dawning with a sleep in for both kids (6.40am – not a sleep in for most of course, but an hour later than our usual wake-up!), my better half and I decided to be brave and venture to Church.
We had V2’s Christening last weekend and felt that it was such a lovely service (at least I enjoyed the few minutes I heard of it when I wasn’t standing outside with V2 as she lamented her lost nap) that we would be brave and make it a ‘regular’ thing.
We both had a different upbringing but agreed the tradition, reverence and spirituality religion and Church provide are important parts of life, particularly for the kidlets.
I do however use the term ‘regular’ loosely. Before we went to yesterday’s service, we had decided it wasn’t likely to be more often than once a month, thereby accommodating our ridiculous schedule and allowing ample time for our resilience levels to be replenished and for any embarrassment for misbehaviour to be forgotten and forgiven before returning.
After yesterday’s service we were comforted that if we had the time, we would be relaxed enough to go more often without too much angst about the kids’ behaviour.
Though V1 was initially extremely disinterested in the concept of sitting still (he had to do that in the car, why would he want to do more of it!) and V2 wanted the stair to the font as her own private playground, no-one minded.
Though V1 decided the shadow game was de rigueur by parotting every clamorous squeak, chatter, cry, squawk or otherwise unintelligible yet remarkably resonant sound that V2 uttered, no-one minded.
Though we mashed a little mandarin into the floor and crumbled some biscuits under the table, and no doubt left more than a couple of sultanas scattered (the floor was brown and it was dark therefore impossible to find stray sultanas), no-one minded.
Though we made paper planes out of the announcement sheet (I made them so they didn’t actually fly – don’t worry, I’m not going to let them fly them in Church!) and stuck stickers to the little kids table at the back, no-one minded.
I can neither confirm nor deny the teeth marks on the foam blocks match the dental records of V2 (foam to prevent noise – almost made me laugh that I thought the concept of giving 2 toddlers soft toys would be sufficient to secure quietness in Church), but I can confirm that no-one minded.
All was completely accepted and welcomed as numerous members of the Church showed pure delight that some young people and their even younger kidlets were taking the time to talk to God. Everyone smiled and repeatedly said how lovely it was that we were there and not a single person commented on the noise, mess, disarray or our distractedness during the service.
It made me realise that as mothers (and parents) we focus so much on people’s perceptions that it often impacts what we do causing us to adjust what we do in an anticipatory reaction. In this case, it has been to date (amongst other things) in the form of not going to Church.
Sometimes it’s in the form of skipping a dinner or a friend’s event for fear of mess and ruining another’s experience. But we are starting to realise we can be brave !
Many people have been there and done that in some way, shape or form whether it is through their own family, friends or babysitting so we know we are in good company.