I used to go to church...and when my kids came along I tried to instill in them the "faith"...I remember as a child my mother getting us all dressed in our Sunday best...we would walk into church in a fine little row- My Dad, me, my bother, my sister, my brother, and my Mother holding up the rear so we didn't stray. We sat in the church pew in order and obediently recited our prayers and the tried to be good. There were a few instances of fidgeting and poking but my Dad would give the "look" and all settled quickly.
I ,on the other hand, would pack up a bag for the kids... cheerio's, juice, books, crayons, paper...and try to make church a little less...difficult for me really....
It was Easter Sunday and the service I picked was one with a folk group. The kids seemed a bit more content to sit for an hour when the music was a bit more upbeat than the usual hymn-ish type choir.
Of course I was late and rushing them into the church, backpack filled with playthings we found my parents- my Dad shaking his head at the thought of snacks and toys in church . All was progressing nicely...except it was the day of the longest gospel...so fidgeting started and the magic backpack opened. But to my chagrin I had neglected to restock the paper, and crayons...Oh no!!!!
I discreetly whisper to my mom and ask for a pen. She and I rummage through our purses and come up with a pencil and a pen and hand the kids the church bulletins to draw on. Phew... catastrophe avoided....
The service progresses and son number one and two, on the floor between my mom and I state very loudly..."Mommy, Grandma look what we draw"..."Shhhhh..." I say...and sit son number two between my mom and I- as my Dad shoots "the look"...and then from the corner of my eye I see my mother's shoulders shaking...head down, and kleenex dabbing her eyes...bulletin in hand from son number one.
Without looking at me she hands me the bulletin...and there in all it's glory is my son's understanding of Easter. On the bulletin is a cross with Jesus on it ...and now surrounding it are word bubbles..."Help, help, get me down.", "This hurts", "Can someone get me down please." and below his childlike rendition of Easter Bunny with a basket and a word bubble "hey Jesus, I have eggs, want some?" "No Bunny can you get me down?"
I try to contain myself, biting my lip until it hurts...I pray to God not to let me break out in hysterical laughter...now my mother is laughing harder and turning red...My son...seeing his effect loudly proclaims.."Mommy, why you laughing. Mommy, tell me why you laugh." With that I lose it and the whole church is filled with the sounds of my mother and me laughing....The service stops for a moment, my father is mortified as everyone is now looking at us.
We pull it together enough to get through the final blessing and leave the church as quickly as possible...and as we are leaving my son number two waves to the crucifix and pipes up ..."Bye Jesus, Easter Bunny coming to get you down."
Renewed fits of laughter, my mother and I get to the car and doubling over in hysterics...I say to her...you never told me how hard it was to contain kids and church laugh....