“Hey kids! Who wants to go visit their cousins and sit quietly for an hour?”
Poor Elijah and Luca. Well, actually poor Diana and Luca and Elijah. Last Sunday, we went to the long awaited memorial service for Di’s mom in one of those little central Illinois towns the Amtrak rattles past every couple hours.
As we waited outside the church waiting for the service to begin, I watched as Eli and Luca and their cousins trampled the church flowers and squashed the church bugs and I wondered, “Who has the unenviable task of watching these kids during the memorial?”
Look around the poker table. If you can’t see the sucker, you’re it.
My brother in law Jamie put the over/under of the four sub-ten year olds being ejected from the service at 5 minutes.
As I slid in between the four children, I gave them the rules: No talking. No laughing. No blasphemy.
Luca broke all three before the priest got his glasses adjusted. “Who is that man without his shirt on? Why is he on that stick?”
Man, I gotta get those boys into Sunday School.
I spent the majority of the service bugging my eyeballs out and mouthing the words “No treat for you!” when a child would stoop to acting their age. I spent the other time trying to explain Christianity to Luca.
“No. That smoke isn’t fire. It’s incense. It’s kind of like God’s magic.”
“Those things are meant to represent the body and blood of Jesus. No, it’s not really his blood. It’s wine. It’s a symbol. Well a symbol is a…here look at this music book.”
I have no idea why I didn’t let them play with my iphone as they begged over and over. I just felt part of the religious experience is learning how to sit on a wooden bench and listen quietly to things you don’t understand.
Eventually, the service ended and we went to the Pontiac country club where the children could release the previous hour’s pent up frustration on the poor staff.