Today we went to church. It literally felt like I dragged our family to church, I pondered if the value was worth all the trouble. In the car, my toddler was whining that she didn't want to be left alone in Sunday school, my baby obviously needed to nap, my husband has never been a fan of religion. But I, I wanted to go, selfishly to listen to the sermon, I wanted my daughter to enjoy the other kids at Sunday school and I secretly hoped that my husband would enjoy the mental break with me of leaving our kids with the church helpers.
Things never go according to plan. It's like the universe was telling me to just stay home. Whiny toddler and baby, non enthusiastic husband and cherry on the cake- ugly, cloudy weather threatening rain at any moment. When we got there, my husband wouldn't leave my toddler. He says he doesn't trust the helpers there since he doesn't really know them even though we DO know them and they have their own kids there. So he sat with her through Sunday school while our friend took care of our baby and I went to listen to the sermon alone.
Of course, I couldn't enjoy the sermon because I was racked by guilt that my daughter was clingy and didn't want us to leave her and here I did leave her but daddy never leaves her (he completely has a hovering problem that I will cover in another post), my son was in the trustful hands of a close friend but I still felt guilty that I just handed my 6 month old baby to someone not my husband or either grandmothers. And then there was my husband whom I'm certain stayed back in Sunday school because he has a hovering problem AND he just didn't want to listen to the religious sermon because deep thoughts about spirituality and God are just not his cup of tea.
So. I sat there listening to a sermon that half provoked deep thought and half inspired tremendous guilt for dragging my family for my own spiritual pleasure. I'm not a particularly religious person. I've never been baptized, I never went to church consistently. My aunt was an avid believer, bless her soul she tried to convert us but none of it really took with the rest of my family. I've always had faith because a little children's bible landed in my lap when I was 6 years old and it had the most beautiful artwork. I just loved that big arse bible to death because to me, it was just another book with beautiful pictures and weird English. But what do you know, the words took meaning, even to a 6 year old.
Today's sermon spoke about Christians being busy. To summarize the 30 minutes that I actually listened to before my guilt consumed me and I went looking for my daughter to let her know that mommy did not abandon her like she always does at daycare, the sermon outlined how before we consume ourselves with tasks in the name of Christianity, our first priority is to be. To observe and to appreciate. What I've always loved about these sermons is that they always speak to me somehow. Either the sermon writers are really good at pinpointing the common issues in their audience or, as God would have it, I always just make it to church on the right days. Even if every single event before I get there is trying to tell me to stay the f*ck home or do something else. And today, the guy spoke about how Christians are just always too damn busy. They forget that before everything, they must be in Christ and Christ must be in them. To be honest, I have no idea what that means. But the parts about observing and being in awe at what God brings us, that I can relate.
Like my children. I am always in awe when I look at them. Even when they bug the bejeezes out of me by never shutting up with the "whys" or "pourquois" in French or refusing to nap (my baby who went through some milestone and now refuses to go down to sleep). I thank God every day for their existence. I pray for their good health. I am racked with guilt for spending so little time with my toddler these days since my second needs me so. I try to remind myself that he only needs me this much his first year and like his sister, will be more independent soon. This neediness does not last forever. Still, it's hard to enjoy his infancy in peace because I worry about my first.
Our schedules are busy. Monday to Friday, my first goes to daycare. Saturdays are swim class and the rest of the day, we're at my in laws. Sunday is our one free day as a family. And as much as I want to go to church for myself, for my daughter so that she can get that community feel and meet other kids while playing with those that she already knows, today I realized, it's OK, in fact, it's my priority to first observe and appreciate this miracle of my family. This one day that we have, it's OK if we just spend it together doing nothing as long as we're together. My daughter is probably this darn clingy because she just wants to be in our company, together. And my second, gosh, he just needs to nap damnit!
My husband so subtlely hinted that maybe we should wait until the kids are older to bring them back to church. And then, I can bring them myself. As in, he doesn't need to come. As slightly annoyed as I am by his "helpful" suggestion (mostly helpful for himself), I think he has a point. My toddler just wants to be with us, not separated and put into Sunday school like another day at daycare. My baby just needs some regular napping and not always on the run. So. Spiritual enlightenment will have to wait a bit.