When you send your kiddos to Catholic school, and one of your children is in 2nd grade (first communion time is INTENSE, y’all), you find yourself at church a lot once spring rolls around. A LOT. I mean, a lot a lot. On Facebook I jokingly called the month of May Faithapalooza–sooooo many church visits–and I wasn’t really kidding. Life around here has been in Catholic Overtime. I keep looking at David out of the corner of my eye to see if he’s freaked out yet, but so far he’s staying strong. He even made it through one church visit where there was unexpected rosary time (unexpected by me, I mean. Everybody else was prepared, well-used prayer beads in hand, while I looked like the dunce who mistook the church for a coffee shop and was wondering where my latte was. I said I was Catholic. I didn’t say I was, like, Best Catholic Ever). He only gave me an incredulous look once. Or twice. I can’t remember. I was still waiting for my coffee.
In the middle of Faithapalooza, I went to the school’s mid-week mass (yes, the kids go to church twice a week. Yes, I will be lucky if they don’t resent us by 5th grade and decide to turn Rastafarian. Best parents eeeevvvvver). It was something special: a holy day? The mass to celebrate the 2nd graders? It’s all a blur. I will leave out the part that I never, ever attend the weekday mass, because I want you to think I’m a person full of good intention and integrity, and not one who is likely still eating breakfast in front of her email at the same time the kids are singing the opening hymn. Anyway, I was at church bright and early one of these mornings with Cian, who sat quietly the whole hour and paged through a borrowed lift-the-flap book on Moses. (Quiet, I mean, except for the moment Cian chose to shout out in the middle of the priest’s homily because he spied cartoon baby Moses floating along a river. “What the HECK?!” could be an appropriate response to a sermon, don’t you think?). This isn’t a surprise. No matter how impish Cian can be in normal life (meaning, the usual 3-year-old stuff: whining, throwing balls into picture frames, announcing in the middle of a public bathroom stall that he is a boy ’cause boys have “PEEEEEEEENIIIIIISSSSSSES!”), during church, when we go as a family on Sunday, he’s usually really relaxed and calm.And this time, as we were driving home afterward (after I gave Saoirse a big ol’ smile when I saw her because hey, look, sweetie! I’m a good mom! I’m here as often as you are! This week, I mean), I said to Cian, “You were so good in church today! Wait till I tell your daddy!”
Cian nodded. “I didn’t stick my tongue out at ANYBODY.”Success, people. Success is all about the little wins. Surviving Faithapalooza. Being okay with laughing at yourself. Keeping your tongue firmly in your mouth. Allowing yourself to acknowledge that while you fail constantly, at least you keep consistently trying. Because look at it this way: shouting “what the heck” in the middle of a church service is still way better than some other things that could be said.I’m happy enough with that.