I went to Mass tonight. As I was on my way out the door, #3 and #4 asked if they could come (I was already taking #5). I talked #3 out of it, but #4 was adamant about tagging along.
Guilt set in really quick that I was talking to #3 in a way to make him NOT want to come. Really, I was overwhelmed with the idea of having 3 under 5 with me, when they have never been exposed to Catholicism before. At my Baptist church while I am in service, they are in their Sunday school class learning a lesson while playing with friends. So regardless of what church, they aren’t used to sitting quietly for a prolonged time.
So I told #4 to grab some paper and color pencils to bring so that she would be occupied some. On the way I told her that people would be praying/talking to Jesus and that we needed to be quiet so we don’t distract them. She wasn’t convinced by that. I told her if she needed to talk to me, she would need to whisper. Eh, how long do you think she would remember these rules?
On our way in from the parking lot I went over the rules real quick. Nothing major….quiet and whisper. She asked why again and I told her people were praying. She tells me she doesn’t want to talk to Jesus. I was not feeling good about that!
So when we got there we sat in the back, and before Mass began she was already a little too restless for my comfort. We got up and went to the quiet room. In there she colored while I was able to observe Mass through the glass and listen through the speaker. She tired of coloring pretty quick and ask for my phone. I gave it to her but felt like that wasn’t a good idea (volume was turned down completely, but it just didn’t seem right!). It did keep her quiet the rest of the Mass though. Maybe my expectations are too high?
But this was probably the best part…coincidence maybe…I don’t know? During the consecration she sets the phone down and folds her hands, she looks to me, and says “it’s time to pray”. She whispered so I didn’t hear her at first nor did I notice her hands. She said it again and I saw her little hands folded and it just warmed my heart.
I already shared some of the struggles I’ve had and that is why I left. So before Mass even started, my mind wandered and I thought… “I wonder if kids can sense Jesus here?”…. Maybe that was a little answer for me, I’m not sure. But what I do know is as baptists, we don’t fold our hands to pray or assume various postures, so I don’t recall ever seeing her fold her hands like that. Though, those are her hands as my profile pic here, from when she was a little peanut.