People tell me to enjoy this stage and cherish the small moments. And I honestly think the people telling me this truly believe the words coming out of their mouth. There are wonderful and beautiful moments in the stage we’re in. And there’s plenty of bad as well. I want to document the reality of taking Briggs (17 months) to church so that one day in a not so distant future when my kids are raised and I’ve forgotten the bad moments, I don’t look at the poor mother struggling with her young children at church and think to tell her – enjoy it while you can, they grow up quickly.
Surprisingly enough, the easiest part of Sundays is actually getting to church. I’m often doing it on my own (Steve at meetings) and we’ve got a system down which makes it relatively painless. Except when a child can’t find their church shoe which should have been put in their shoe bucket after last wearing it which happened this morning.
I actually had to wake Briggs this morning which is rare and I was hopeful this would be mean he would be happy during the services. Boy was I wrong. We got in our seats early which is typical. But I’m not sure it works to my advantage. By the time the meeting was actually starting, he was already restless. Walking in 10 minutes late might have helped me out a little bit today, it would’ve bought me more time!
Steve was on the stand speaking so I was flying solo with a wonderful family behind me to lend a helping hand. I wanted so badly to enjoy the meeting but Briggs grew more and more restless despite my fantastic bag of tricks and treats that I carefully planned out. Steve was the second speaker and by the time he stood up I was fighting tooth and nail to stay in the meeting without being disruptive to every one around me. We made it just a few minutes before Briggs was done and screaming. I quickly exited the meeting and made my way to a dark room to let Briggs calm down. I was met in the hallway by the other mothers/fathers with kids similar ages, all of who were working their hardest to stay at church with their disruptive child.
Once Briggs had calmed down, I thought it was safe to reenter the meeting and finish listening to Steve’s talk. I made it two more minutes before he was crying and I walked right back out. Of course the congregation smiling back at me as I made my final exit. I parked it on the couch for the rest of meeting. I wasn’t alone – I was surrounded by other struggling parents. We laughed in our struggles together.
I thought Briggs would be able to pull it together once he was back safely in Steve’s arms and perhaps even make his way to the nursery to play with toys. However, that was not in his cards today. The crying and screaming didn’t stop and it didn’t take us long to pull the plug on church altogether and Steve went home to put him to bed. Briggs and I were both exhausted.
So that’s what church looked like for us today. In fact, it’s what church has looked like for awhile. Today was not glamorous and I didn’t get a whole lot out of the meeting. I assure you, I will not miss these moments. No matter how many people try and tell me that I will! 🙂