I was that mom at the Ash Wednesday Mass this year. My 2 year old decided to run down the aisle of the church in his jammies and Elmo slippers. Twice. *sigh*
We decided not to enroll our children in Catholic school, because of that we take their Catholic education very seriously. We are sure to spend the Lenten and Advent season doing weekly activities. Now that Lainy Ann receives communion I think its even more important to continue her education. We are sure to attend weekly Mass where she participates fully. Where the other children are allowed to color and ignore the homily she, and now Connor, are required to listen or sometimes attend Children's Liturgy.
During the Lenten season I do my best to make sure we remember the importance of the 40 days of Lent, fast, and attend all of the Holy Days. The problem with that is most of the Masses are at dinnertime or later during the week. But I figure its important for them to sacrifice, as Jesus did for us, and attend a few late night Masses a year.
On Ash Wednesday I fed the children, packed a bag of activities, bathed and put the little ones in jammies, put on the baby carrier and prepared to take 5 children to evening Ash Wednesday Mass, at bedtime. Wow. I'm just tired typing all of that out. What on earth possessed me to undertake such a task.
Although my mom and Tom were also at the Mass, they were sitting near the reading kids helping them with the Mass and following along in the hymnal which leaves me with the 3 youngest kids. Alexander figured that out pretty quickly and kept easing out of the pew. The first time he took off down the aisle another parishoner saw him and grabbed him. Thank goodness. The second time I wasn't so lucky. He remembered the well-meaning parishoner and weaved away from her with the ease of a football player. Then he headed down the middle aisle of the church towards the alter. Fabulous. Because it wasn't bad enough that half of the church had seen him running down the aisle in his Elmo slippers, he is ensuring that everyone gets to see him. To add to the comedy of the situation I am running after him with Eleanor strapped to my chest.
I was mortified. Mortified. Its bad enough that we make a commotion just existing in the church. But the chasing up and down the aisle . . . . just the icing on the cake. Fortunately I got a lot of sympathetic looks as I expressed my apologies after church. I know Alexander isn't getting a whole lot out of church at this age, but its important to us that Lainy Ann and Connor are learning about their faith. I guess that means that some days during Mass I will be a little mortified.