Why Bother?

As a parent of 3 young children, there are some things we do that I sometimes wonder to myself ‘why bother?’.  Hear me out;

This morning we woke up earlier than anticipated (ahem, Amelia) and figured we could go to early church (before Sunday school) instead of late church (which is after Sunday school).  We no more than get into our pew this morning (on time, for once), and the shenanigans begin. Amelia dumps cheerios everywhere.  Lucy proceeds to unpack the diaper bag looking for some elusive item she believes to be in there. Lucy and Gabriel fight over a book. Amelia and Gabriel fight over a book. Amelia yelps for the umpteenth time. Amelia proceeds to follow in Lucy’s footsteps and tries to not so gingerly unpack the diaper bag and finds a ball-like lip gloss that she plays with. Until it rolls away in front of the pews in front of us. Amelia yelps some more. Books and sippy cups get shoved under pews into other peoples legs.  Sippy cup leaks on the floor. More fighting between I don’t even know who. More dropping of cheerios. More crunching of cheerios under my feet, more destroying of the diaper bag. More time of me tending to my children and less time of me paying attention or actually participating in Mass. Lucy goes up a few rows and sits with an adoring cousin for awhile and it helps. 2 is a lot less than 3 some days, it seems.  All of a sudden it’s Communion time and I realize I have sung 1/2 of one song and have no idea what the Gospel or any of the readings entailed. We go up front for the Sacrament and return.  By the end of Mass, J and I look at each other and just shake our heads. Some times are better than others. Some Sundays our kids behave great, other days are more like today. We stopped taking loads of toys to church because they ended up being more of a hassle than it was worth.  So why bother?

Turns out, J and I have very similar beliefs on church. Go figure. We both feel very strongly that our children need to be present weekly IN church.  All of our children attended their first Mass before 2 weeks of age, which was also their Baptism.  They may not understand or know all of what is going on, but if they are not there, how are they going to learn? We are ok with them reading or looking at a book quietly during Mass since they are so young. Gabriel is getting to the age that he can participate in more of what is going on and we are trying to encourage him to do so.

We bother, because for us, it’s what we do and how we live. It’s how we build our life, base their upbringings. Its how we learn morals, values, and church practices and teachings. It’s important that our kids are there with us.  And it’s extra rewarding when we see the fruits of our labors thriving. Today one of Gabriel’s Sunday school teachers informed us that he was one of the few who could recite the Lord’s Prayer during their class. Lucy was the only one in the 3 year old class, which I help to co-teach.  I love hearing the kids’ questions about readings and God, sometimes quite humorous.  Today Gabriel specifically requested that he could have ‘The Kids Bible’ for his looking book during quiet time. And last night when G and I were out on a date, he didn’t blink an eye when I told him we were going to pray before eating our pizza, and he said the whole prayer. To us, it’s very important they are there with us.

Next time you see a family with young children attending church or any other social event, for that matter, be thankful they are there. They care enough to take their kids to a somewhat uncomfortable and possibly very embarrasing situation, in hopes that they are raising their kids in a better way, in a way that will hopefully produce positive influences on society and moral citizens.  And please, keep smiling at them, because that helps a little too. 🙂

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Dear Amelia;

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Dear Amelia;

Well, we are all bunkered down for the ‘Snowpocalypse 2015’.  We ran around and did errands this morning and now due to numerous cancellations due to impending weather, we have nowhere to be until 8am Monday morning. Ahhh, bliss. I kinda like snowstorms!

You are asleep in your crib upstairs while the rest of us are watching a movie.  Tonight, for the first time ever, you didn’t want to be rocked to sleep.  I have mixed emotions about this.  My lap and arms felt empty, but it did leave me some free time to write this blog. Lucy as usual has been cuddly and is on my lap.  Very unusual for you, and I hope you still like to rock to sleep some nights  🙂

In getting some things crossed off my to-do list today, (one of which was hanging kids pictures around the house), I realized that you have not had any professional pictures taken since 6 months old.  You are 14+ months and I haven’t even had your 1 year pictures done.  No wonder third children area always feeling jipped!  I did get around to buying you a picture outfit and shoes today which are super cute! You ran away from me at least 6 times in the store today.  I’m sorry I missed your 9 and 12 month pictures 😦

I am so interested and excited to see how your personality forms.  So far, you know how to work it.  You always seem to get what you want. G and L love to make you happy.  You love people but are shy sometimes. You do not like to be alone, probably because you never have been. You even sleep with 2 others in your room! You love to sing.  You are getting very good at picking up and love to put things where they go. On the contrary, you also love to pull anything and everything out of it’s place.

You love chocolate and I do too.  You are definitely my daughter.

Thank you for being a better sleeper! At 14 months you seem to have a better handle on the whole thing.  After 12.5 months of you waking anywhere from 1 to 6 times per night, I was tired, to say the least. You are now going on a few weeks of going to sleep on time  at 8pm and staying asleep until after 6am. It’s kind of nice.  But I still wake a lot, tossing and turning. Sometimes I feel like I’m actually missing having you in our bed.  Sometimes I feel like waking you up so I have some company 😉

You sure do like your pacifier.  We cannot seem to get very far without one. Many times, you carry 2 pacisin your hands so that you can flip them in and out of your mouth intermittently. You sleep with one and definitely prefer one in the car, or it gets pretty loud.

I hope you like hand-me-downs. With an older sister already, you are not getting too much new-to-you stuff. I’m more than ok with it. I hope you learn frugality at a young age and embrace it!

As you can tell, I’m having some varying feelings about you growing up. You used to be such a mama’s girl, and mama’s girl only. Last weekend you stayed at Aunt Jen’s house for a few hours and didn’t even cry when I left. You never cry when I leave you with Nana either.  You like to run away from me now, but sometimes still to me.  You are starting to say words like ‘more’, ‘mama’.  You don’t need me for everything like you used to, and you are becoming more independent. I hope that you don’t grow up too fast. I hope that we relish everything you do, learn, say, become.  I hope that you retain the amazing spirit and headstrong will that you possess, and all the things that make you you.  I hope that you love this crazy family of yours, because we sure love you!

-Mom