I woke up at a quarter to six on Sunday at the mere thought of Tornado S standing by the bed. He wasn’t there. But I figure I might as well get up because we had seven am mass to attend to as it was Mother’s Day, and my mom was obligated to go to her mother’s mass, and I was obligated, unlike my brothers, to go to church with my parents. While I had one less child to wake up and get out of bed, it also meant I had once less pair of hands to get boys in and out of the car.
For some reason God smiled at this. I was up, fed, and dressed by the time Tornado S decided he wanted to stop reading in bed. I had Tornado S fed and dressed by the time Tornado E woke to all the ruckus. Tornado E was dressed and not fed, watching TV by the time we had to go. After watching Wubzy get out of another self-created jam, I jammed the boys into their car seats, leaving a minute late, which turned into five minutes late with the lights changing to allow ghosts cars through the intersection. Miraculously I kept my cool, since my road rage must have been sleeping in that day.
I parked at the end of the parking lot, not wanting the hassle of dealing with older drivers, who are very careful, but painfully so. I wiped faces with the wipes, handed Tornado E the corsage for my mom, picked up Tornado S who had his hands up, saying “help me. Up pease.” We trudged up the parking lot, getting to the front door of the church. But surely my mom would be sitting in the back where all good Catholics sit like my grandma. So we hoofed it on the outside of the church. Tornado S gained a pound with every step. Why did I feel the need to bring seven religious-oriented books plus two sketch pads plus six fruit snack bags plus two pencils plus a container of goldfish plus a carton of crayons? Wait. Where’s the tithe? On the table, of course.
Tornado S spotted the blue mustang my parents owned, recognizable by the wildcat and the hummingbird on the back window. “Papi! Papi! Papi’s car!” Tornado S squirmed in my arms.
We finally get to the back door to read the sign to go around to the other side. With a hysterical laugh, I started around the church with the little twittering of a three-year-old following me. “Where are we going? Can’t we use that door? Why is it broken? How’d it get broken? I’ve never gone this way before. What’s that? This ramp is steep! I can’t make it! Throw me a rope! Can we go down there? What’s down there? Why are all these people in robes?” Because even though the bells rang two minutes ago, they’re waiting for us to sit.
I looked through the glass doors to note that my parents had decided to sit in their usual front of the church pew. Are you KIDDING ME? I haul open the door. Excuse me, priests, deacon, alter servers. Holy water. In the name of the Father, Son, Holy Spirit. NameoftheFather,Son,HolySpirit. NameoftheFather,Son,HolySpirit. I waved at my grandma, my aunt, and uncle as I dragged Tornado E down the side aisle to the front. Thank God I decided to start using the spare black diaper bag instead of the usual one that would be clunking key chains all down the church. We went down one pew to come up the middle just behind my parents.
In a harsh whisper, I asked, “Is there a reason you’re up here and not with your mother?”
“Came in the back way, did ya?” my dad asked too merrily
“Why, Thank you, Tornado E! We go in the front entrance now. An orchid. How beautiful,” my mom said. The diaper bag crashed down. “Here, I’ll take Tornado S.”
“NO! MY MAMA!” Tornado S buried his face into my shoulder.
“Do you know h-” The organ began playing, cutting off my pure sarcastic complaint/question.
Then Tornado S began to sing. He just kept singing, “Ba, ba, ba, baaaaa.” But it was the best singing in the church. He sang every time the music started; he answered every rhetorical question. He was awesome. And all was right in the world.