There are days that demand a do-over. Sunday was turning out to be one of those days. By the time we left for church. And we don’t go to a mid-morning service either. No, we go first thing. 7:45 because that is usually when the boys behave the best. Usually.
They were up with the dawn, searching for that fabled worm. We should have had plenty of time to eat, dress, and get to church on time. We barely made it. I had a lecture ready about being late, but I didn’t use it. I wanted to. Then Tornado S stopped and tapped on the glass door to wave at the priest who was about to make his entrance before I ushered Tornado S into the crying room at the back of the church. The priest chuckled. I will be calm. I will be calm.
I’ve seen worse days. Two weeks ago, they lost their doughnut and their TV/DVD/video game privileges and added a well-earned time out. But half way through the service they had lost their doughnut and their TV/DVD/video game privileges. I will be calm. I will be calm. I will be calm.
Then it was finally time for communion, and I was overjoyed. We were nearly home free. As we walked down the aisle, I hissed for them to walk nicely, don’t bump into each other (that’s what won them the time out two weeks before), cross your hands, watch where you’re going, stop, stop, stop. At one point, I grabbed Tornado S by the collar and held him back. I will be calm. I will be calm. I will be calm.
And then we were at the front of the line. The priest smiled down on the children. “Bless you. And may God slow you down.” He blessed the boys. He noticed he was out of hosts and turned to get more. I received my communion, genuflected, and turned to see that, yes, the boys had continued up the aisle as they were supposed to but had stopped. They were wildly batting each other with both hands, hitting only each other’s hands. Like something out of a cartoon. Or a sitcom. Or my nightmare. If I could have yelled, I would have. I wanted to. The priest chuckled. If I hadn’t realized I was embarrassed, not just angry, I would have given him a dirty look. I wanted to.
I marched down the aisle and shooed my boys back in the crying room. I will be calm. I will be calm. I will be calm and not make a scene.
What would my Catholic school teachers do?
After Mass, the boys practiced walking respectable up and down the aisles until they did it without touching, snickering, laughing, talking, kicking, pushing.
The priest chuckled behind me.
Hours later as my parents had a good laugh.
My Mom: Fae, it is funny. Just not right now.
I’m too old to stick out my tongue. But I wanted to.