I wish I could attend daily Mass. I see other mothers doing it and feel I should be able to do the same. So we're giving it the old college try for a week.
Sick kids and husband on a holiday = no way we're going.
Pete's first day of preschool, which conveniently is located at our parish and begins right when Mass lets out. Although he went last year, I think he was wary of going and this made it hard for him. To begin with, the priest's microphone wasn't making it to the cry room, so we just got to hear the reading and psalm. It's hard to tell a kid to be quiet and listen when there's nothing to hear! He would not stop talking loudly, tried to climb on the pews and kicked me. I was starting to worry that I'd set him up for a bad day at school, but his teacher (Kate's godmother, by the way, how blessed are we with that class assignment?) said he did great.
The Nativity of Mary was today, so I had Pete make a birthday card for Mary all on his own. It had lots of stickers: flowers, a cross, WWJD, a bat, a jack o'lantern and a Chimchar. Hopefully Mary likes Halloween and Pokemon. Pete was terrific through Mass (no yelling, no kicking) and talked quietly. This is progress, right? After Mass we gave Mary her birthday card, which an older woman thought was sweet. I have been on the wrong end of some glares from older ladies at Church when I'm there with the kids before so that was quite nice.
Pete climbed over a pew while I was nursing Kate and somehow managed to get a giant scrape on his leg from a kneeler. Hysterical crying from baby, displaced from nursing and into the stroller, and Pete, injured, while I held him and calmed him down. We managed to make it through Mass, just barely.
I'd promised Pete a trip to Chuck E Cheese if he was good, since we'd had a decent week. He demanded to go before Mass, then got into a seriously bad mood when I told him that he couldn't, that it wasn't even open. He was determined to not be quiet and then after the readings I realized I'd left my keys in the door of the car. I've always been slightly absent minded and having to haul all of the things two kids need around with me has only made it worse. I'm pretty sure the car would have still been there when Mass was over, but enough crime happens around here that I wanted to go get the keys immediately. So we parade out of Mass.
After this week, I have decided that we are not called to be attending daily Mass at this point. When it is a struggle to simply be in the space and prayerful participation isn't even an option, I don't see how I'm teaching the kids about the wonders of the Mass. Just because other, younger kids can sit there nicely with their mothers does not mean my kids can.
Pete agrees with me. As we were playing one afternoon, making up songs, I sang:
Pete is great! Pete is cool!
Pete loves to go to his big boy school!
And Pete chimed in:
But Pete doesn't like to go to chuuuuuuurch!
At least he knows how to speak his mind.