Monday, January 21, 2013

Putting the "Christ" in Christian

For grins and giggles (and embarrassment), we like to take Christian, age 4, to church. When he was an infant, he was an absolute angel. He sat in his car seat and slept peacefully. Then he got older. And more mobile and vocal. So, we took a break from purgatory. When he was 3, he attended his cousin's baptism. About 15 minutes into the service, he yelled "I'm bored. Can we go?". He was sitting next to a NUN. During Communion, he yelled "Yay! Snacks!". It was the longest hour of my life. He was not filled with the Holy Spirit. I was filled with mortification and dread. Now we attend church (pretty much) weekly. He attends the "Children's Liturgy of the Word". There, very nice ladies break down the Mass so the little ones can understand it. I have helped with this endeavor. The teacher does a Scripture reading and asks the kids questions about it. My son raises his hand to provide an answer. Once he has a captive audience, his imagination is off and running. The teachers assure me that he is very informative and entertaining. I just say thank you, make the sign of the Cross and ask the Father, Son and Holy Spirit to either turn a blind eye or forgive. Whichever is easier. When he makes the sign of the Cross, he says "The Father, Hen and Holy Spirit". If he behaves during Mass, we go out for donuts. Hey, don't judge. Pavlov was a genius. Reward the good behavior. And, let's be honest. My kids will do just about anything legal for a donut. When they call the children up to receive a blessing before marching out, he runs up to the priest and stares at him, clueless about what to do and where to go. Picture Forest Gump in just about any situation. The priest politely hugs him and turns him around and sends him marching out with his cohorts. When they return 15-20 minutes later, he has completely forgotten where we sat and what we look like. He looks around for us or some other nice family to sit with until Mass is over. We usually have to go collect him. Sometimes, they let the kids bring up an offering. My little sainted angel runs up the aisle, waving a dollar bill like he is in Vegas. Last week, as Fr. Bill was coming down the aisle, Christian tried to leap into the aisle and block his way using his all-purpose Spiderman pose. Fr. Bill swiftly dodged him. I used the mom-patented 2-finger vulcan death
grip. Then Christian did the 2 finger "I'm watching you" thing to him. It was the celebration of the baptism of Jesus Christ. Christian did not appreciate his unexpected "shower". "Hey, why are they throwing water on me? I don't need a bath. I have my clothes on!" All these were said in less than a whisper. I wasn't sure if people were laughing at him or pitying me. As we walked out, he asked if he gets a donut because "I was pretty good, right?". Define "good".

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