Posted by: littlebitofparadise | November 5, 2012

Remember “Those” Days

As we slid into our pew for Mass yesterday, the usual commotion ensued. Mark began demanding his blankey and Bible book. Luke was just plain cranky (thank you time change!) so we tempted him into silence with a paci and blankey of his own.

SHhhhhh!! Mark, you can’t sing Jingle Bells out loud during church!

Lukey, here’s your paci, want to take a nap on Mama?

Mark, turn around please.

Luke, that’s Mark’s Bible book. Here’s one for you.

Mark, those envelopes and pencils are for the offering.

You know. The usual.

Sometimes it can be embarrassing or discouraging or frustrating how noisy and disruptive our little family can be in church. Not that we mean to be, and not that we’re the only ones. Our church is teeming with large families, toddlers, babies, kids everywhere. It’s one of the reasons we became members of our church; clearly the place loves kids and welcomes them with open arms.

Still, some Sundays it feels like there’s a whole lot more refereeing than praying that the Hubs and I get to do in church.

Yesterday we sat behind a couple ten or fifteen years our seniors. They were parents to at least four or five children. Their kids were quite a bit older than ours, and were sitting calmly and attentively next to their parents. It looked lovely.

Just before Mass began, the wife leaned over to her husband, and I caught her whisper: “Remember those days?” as her eyes rolled right and her head ever so slightly nodded in our direction. “What?” her husband loudly whispered back. “Honey, remember THOSE days?” she once again inclined in our direction.

The husband attempted a quick peak at my bear cubs dropping down the pew kneeler on their Daddy’s shoe and pulling all the hymnals out of their slots. He looked at his wife and smiled: “yep!”.

I sat there for a split second of utter mystification. Here’s a mom who’s clearly “paid her dues” and raised beautifully behaved children; who has successfully made it out of the toddler and baby circus church services; who is enjoying peace and quiet and calm as she enters into Sunday worship… and is – say what? – whispering to her husband with a look of longing, wistfulness, and nostalgia at MY family?

My world came into sharp focus in that split second. I looked at my husband holding our baby in one arm and half arm-wrestling our toddler’s bottom into a sitting position on the pew with the other, and then I looked up at the large crucifix suspended over the altar, tears blurring my vision.

This moment in my life is such a gift. This season of chaos is beautiful in a unique and very special way. What a privilege it is for the Hubs and I to bring these babies into the presence of God every Sunday. To expose them to a life of faith, to the grace of the sacraments, to the community of believers who worships the Lord God Who is One (c.f. Deuteronomy 6:4-9).

Sure, this season has it’s own measure of frustration and difficulties. But someday I too will miss this. Someday my boys will be strapping young men, “too cool” for their Mama and bringing home girls to meet me. Those young men will sit calmly and attentively in a pew by my side on a Sunday morning. And it will be lovely.

But in that moment I’d probably give the world to be taking them out to the cry room. All seven times in 60 minutes. And shushing them with pacifiers and blankeys and whispering “Look! It’s Jesus on the altar!” into their ears.

And I’ll be the one leaning over to the Hubs when I see a young couple with babies.

“Psssst! Mac, remember those days?”

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“You’re Gonna Miss This” by Trace Adkins

She was staring out that window, of that SUV
Complaining, saying I can’t wait to turn 18
She said I’ll make my own money, and I’ll make my own rules
Mamma put the car in park out there in front of the school
Then she kissed her head and said I was just like you

You’re gonna miss this
You’re gonna want this back
You’re gonna wish these days hadn’t gone by so fast
These are some good times
So take a good look around
You may not know it now
But you’re gonna miss this

Before she knows it she’s a brand new bride
In a one-bedroom apartment, and her daddy stops by
He tells her It’s a nice place
She says It’ll do for now
Starts talking about babies and buying a house
Daddy shakes his head and says Baby just slow down

‘Cause You’re gonna miss this
You’re gonna want this back
You’re gonna wish these days hadn’t gone by so fast
These are some good times
So take a good look around
You may not know it now
But you’re gonna miss this

Five years later there’s a plumber workin’ on the water heater
Dog’s barkin’, phone’s ringin’
One kid’s cryin’, one kid’s screamin’
She keeps apologizin’
He says they don’t bother me
I’ve got 2 babies of my own
One’s 36, one’s 23
Huh, it’s hard to believe

But you’re gonna miss this
You’re gonna want this back
You’re gonna wish these days hadn’t gone by so fast
These are some good times
So take a good look around
You may not know it now
But you’re gonna miss this
You’re gonna miss this
Yeah, you’re gonna miss this

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