Dare I broach the topic of religion? Why not. I have a story that will make you cringe and hopefully make you laugh.
I like going to church. That being said, I hardly ever go. I have been going on and off my whole life, but I tend to go on a "when I feel like it" schedule. I sit in the very last row because, even in traffic, I have a thing about people behind me. So, I sit in the last row. I am comfortable there.
The boys tried Sunday school last year but said it was boring. So, when I brought them this year they sat with me in the "big area" (as they call the part of the church where the adults sit)they loved the main part of the church. The high wooden ceilings and organ intrigue them! So there was no groaning when we left today. I was surprised.
We got there a little early and Rocco led us straight to the back pew. He was excited that we got the same seats as we had last time. We started to sit, but he said he couldn't see anything, so I said he could pick where we sit today. I should have known better that to ask my more aggressive twin. He always wants the biggest and best thing he can get. So, he leads us up a few pews. Then a few more. Then finally we reach... You guessed it... THE FRONT ROW!!
Grinning from ear to ear, the boys are thrilled. I am panic-stricken! I hate people behind me and now I have the whole congregation behind me. Not to mention, I usually just follow the people in front of me when it's time to sit, stand or kneel! I have no idea when I am supposed to do any of that. So, here I sit, terrified, next to my two little guys who can't stop chattering on about the candles, the stained glass and a whole bunch of other stuff that sounded like the "Peanuts" teacher. Waa waaa waaa! At this point, I can only hear my own heartbeat in my ears.
I act like everything's normal. The music starts to play. The pastor walks in with the other guy (not sure of his title). He looks at me as he starts to speak. I can tell he is thinking, "Who the heck are you three?" and "Why are you in the front row?” I look behind me and there is no one else for 10 pews! God, might as well have shined a light right on our heads because we were so obvious. Only the old ladies who know what they are doing sit in the front row! Why am I sitting here? Do you go to hell if you kill your child in church? Just asking!
Holy crap! (no pun intended). The pressure was on. I not only have a pastor staring me down but now an entire congregation is watching what me and my two six-year-olds are doing looking to us for the next que. I thought of that saying that we should "do something every day that scares you." Done! Terrified here!
So I managed to gather myself up and read through the prayer cheat sheet to know when to sit, stand or pray. It was all going rather well until Rocco got obsessed by the Communion. He wanted to go up. Then he didn't. Then he did. I finally told him he couldn't because they didn't let kids. I needed to shut him up before the pastor saw us whispering. Six-year-olds either whisper too quietly or way to loud, don't they?
Now, I have taken the Communion before at other churches, but not at this church. When you are in the back row no one notices you, so there’s no pressure to go up. But, when you are in the front row, you start the whole church going up to the altar. I now have to watch the boys to make sure they are not hitting each other or slinking in the pew, but I also have to look the other way toward the usher who is going to start the whole thing with me. I wished I had two heads for the first time in my life. Actually, I lie. Two heads would also have come in handy when the twins were entering their “terrible two’s” phase!
I get up (at the right time I think!) and I get to the pastor. He puts the wafer in my hand. I take it, say “Thank you”, remembering only later in the day that the proper response is “Amen”. Then I immediately start to step to the right. Isn’t that the way they usually do it? Not today. As I start to step away, the pastor begins to say a three-sentence blessing over me. He raises his eyebrows while he is saying the first sentence as if to say, "Step back here, little girl, I am not done yet." I turn beat red, give a little embarrassed smile. When he is finished, I walk right past the wine guy. Heck with the wine! I can't handle that right now! I sit back down, wanting to melt into the floor and Rocco says, "See mom! The kids can go up". I look over and the pastor is now making a cross on a five-year-old's forehead. I tell Rocco that he can go up and get blessed but they don't give kids the wafers. He rolls his eyes. I giggle a little at him and he says "What? I'm hungry!"
Then he whispers way too loudly, "Mom, can you see in heaven?" At least he is paying attention.
We settle back in while the pastor reads "the big loooong part" as the kids called it. Now it's time for the offering. Zeke is especially excited about this part. He loves money! He remembers the big pile of money from last time. When you sit in the back row, the money pile is huge. When you are in the front row, the bowl is empty. I think he was disappointed. I pull out the small wad of dollar bills that I had separated out for this purpose. But, as I start to pass it to the usher, I feel something trapped inside the dollar bills. I am not sure if it is a wadded up Target receipt or a bloodied-up test strip from one of Rocco’s blood glucose tests. So I start to drop it in but first feel a little deeper at the bills. But it appeared as if I changed my mind and didn't want to give that much! The whole church was watching! I was mortified and just let it go. Hopefully it wasn't a used test strip! Ugh! Is this over yet?
The rest of the service went fine, except toward the end Zeke was "starrrrrvvviingg" and started to kind of lay down in the pew. I grabbed him toward me and put my arm around him, hoping my attention would pacify him. But his head hit my boob and he looked at me, gave me a devilish grin and to be silly, patted my boob!! Boys! Omg! Please start the "go home" song!
Next time, we will sit in our assigned seats in the back.
As we were leaving, I was able to sneakily snap this picture. I got caught by the money usher who asked me if I wanted him to take it of all three of us. Oh God (no pun intended!)