I am a bad egg. My sorry soul is supposed to be parked in a pew currently, helping my dear husband manage our unruly brood during the Sunday service. So, of course, I am consumed with guilt. Not really, but I threw that in…on the off chance that I might be absolved of my sins.
That said, I am fairly certain that Thing One and Thing Two will be far more intrigued with the prospect of quietly tormenting each other (i.e. holding disturbingly intense stare offs and using those cussed little wooden pencils readily available to each and every parishioner as cattle prods or something equally heinous) than with attending to anything remotely related to the sermon. I’ve seen their act before.
And if, instead, they should refrain from pedestrian antics like stepping on one another’s fancy church shoes and colliding, ever-so-slightly, as they fall in line for communion, they’ll likely engage in behavior equally mortifying to a parent. This parent, anyway.
More specifically, their inordinately resourceful father will hand them each a 3-by-5 index card and an ink pen for doodling and whatnot, which, on the surface, seems perfectly wonderful to one and all. However, those clever wisps of mine routinely choose a less-than-virtuous topic about which to write (say…the fact that they are dreadfully un-enthused with the notion of attending church at all) and run with it.
Case in point: I glanced over at Thing One not long ago, to bask in what I had hoped would be parental glory, only to discover that she had literally FILLED every nook and cranny of white space on the card with the word B-O-R-E-D. Some words were decidedly plain, while others, indescribably ornate. Some had been artistically shaded and sketched, some were imbued with beloved fonts and a select few even contained (you guessed it) bubble letters. As one might expect, a couple of B-O-R-E-Ds were comparatively massive, while most were shockingly small.
Needless to say, the child’s efforts were indeed impressive and I had to quietly marvel at the diligence and determination required for such an undertaking.
That is not to say the act went unnoticed. Curious onlookers stole looks and raised eyebrows at the smallish being in question, hunched over her work, rebellion oozing from her pores. Naturally we passed the Masterpiece of Shame on to our friends sitting nearby, who had great difficulty containing their amusement. Translation: THE FRICKING PEW SHOOK. They would later ask for a copy of said opus to remember the occasion by and we, of course, would deliver.
Framed, no less.
Appallingly, and perhaps STUPIDLY, we also shared the specimen with none other than the man who delivered the sermon that day. Our pastor. Thankfully he found the kernel of humor in the whole ordeal…and within our flaws. Parental and otherwise.
That said, I ought to be grateful that my heathens aren’t among those routinely plugged into Game Boy and dropping Bakugan whateverness on the floor. There is a God.
Planet Mom: It’s where I live (where the natives are often restless and the 3-by-5 cards are never in short supply).
Copyright 2010 Melinda L. Wentzel