Sunday, January 27, 2013

"Sunday Bubble"

We all made it!  I sighed as I plopped into my seat.
Surly something was overlooked. 
Each child was properly dressed, I examined, except one wearing “play shoes” in lieu of the one  “missing” church shoe!

Church starts at 9am.  That's a good 2 hours later than our weekday wake up call for school.  On those days one child at a time is sent out the door armed with completed homework, packed lunches and full tummies.

On this day, it doesn’t matter what time church starts...I am always rushed.  This morning Sam woke me saying “It’s 8 o’clock.”  in a flat line tone.  Perhaps dreading the same course of events lay ahead as I did.

We have 4 sleeping kids and 1 hour to be seated at church. (with a 15min drive to the church building)
I don’t jump out of bed.  Instead, I slowly make my way to the bathroom dreading the race I’m about to embark in.

This happened last week.
 The exact scenario.  
I bribed all the kids with “Double Dessert” if they were ready for church before me.

It worked.

Today I took another stab at it.

65 minuets later I slipped into the back of the chapel, counting my ducks while Sam parked the car.  

I’m missing one!

He shows up (with Sam) shooting me his angry eyes.
“Why do you always leave me?”  He asks still hurt from the time he had to call home after I left him at church for an hour in December. * 

I replay our entrance into the building and remember seeing him run down the hall for the drinking fountain.

He’s right.  I did walk away without him. (...again)

Once we are all seated I take a few minutes to regroup and realize where I am.  
For the next hour I get to s-i-t.  
I get to sit and do
n-o-t-h-i-n-g but enjoy the spirit filled meeting.

That is until Abi climbs on my lap and announces she’s hungry.  I scramble for my church bag being careful that her little feet don’t snag my nylons, like they do every week (which are NOT childproof or cheap!!)
I try to return to the meeting when a little one says he needs to blow his nose, then a different child asks for a drawing book.  Next I’m explaining how a quiet game is played, removing Abi’s feet from the chair in front of us which is causing a toddler to scream, and I’m bending over like an ostrich searching for lost items under the chairs.  

Another child whispers to me with puppy dog eyes, he’s hungry.  That’s when I realize none of us ate breakfast.
I sneak half a bagel from Abi’s stash and hand it over.
I notice I’m not the only one handing out zip-locks filled with cheerios and other grab-and-go snacks. This eases my guilt.. a little.

The toddler in front of us see’s the exchange and eyes my bag. She helps herself to the abandoned cheerio bag which sends Abi after it shaking her head screaming“No!”

I turn to the right side of our row.  There sits Sam.

He is comfortably sitting, scriptures open, and eyes on the speaker.  I call this the “Sunday Bubble”  

I try to pass Abi to him but she prefers my lap.

My experience at church is so different from Sam’s and we sit less than 6 inches apart.  This isn't because Sam is unwilling to help, rather the kids just choose me.(except when it comes to gum.  Dad always has gum.)
 The Sunday Bubble favors him.

Have you ever watched what really goes on with other families during that hour meeting?

Mothers carry in huge bags full of treats, coloring books, and toys with one hand and an infant attached to a car seat in another- while balancing a diaper bag over her shoulder marching a litter of kids into a pew.  It's like entering a war zone.

These kids carry the power to pop the “Sunday Bubble” and apparently Mom’s “Sunday Bubble” is easier to pop than dad’s.

I like to watch what happens to a family when a mother goes out into the hall with a child.
Some fathers sit completely oblivious to the family war going on next to him or he watches with no clue how to manage it in the middle of a crowd.
The best is when the smaller one see their mother exit and they bolt after her as if she is abandoning them-even if it means crawling over their dad to follow her.

I remember a phase when I spent more time in the halls with a baby than I did in a class.  All the fuss to get there didn't seem worth it at times.  It would have been much more pleasant for me to stay at home so the kids wouldn't miss a nap.
  One Sunday a "grandma" approached me with a smile and said, "doing the hallway babysitting again?"  I half hearted joked, "I don't know why I even come."
She came back with, "The reason you keep coming back is because your creating a tradition for your family.  It starts now, while they are small."
I loved that nugget of wisdom and have returned to it for strength many times.

 I’ve managed to survive sacrament for 12 consecutive  years without a “Sunday Bubble” 
I’ve come to church armed with some pretty cool powers though.
When my kids were young I pulled out my octopus arms and worked magic to protect Sam’s “Sunday Bubble” from popping.

Now that they are older I have new trick that protects the "Sunday Bubble" of those around us .
 I have the “Mom Stare!” 
I can hold up 1 finger and they get the message to change their behavior.
If I hold up 2 they know they’re walking a fine line for trouble.
If I hold up 3 they know they’ve “struck out” and they will go without dessert.  

I don’t wear a  “Sunday Bubble” yet, but I can make a mad dash to church wearing bags over my shoulders, kids on my lap with torn nylons...therefore, I am a “Bubble Maker" building a strong foundation for my family!! 

*(In my defense to Jace's abandoment- Sam and I drove different cars to church that Sunday.  I thought he left with Sam and Sam thought he left with me and Jace thought we were at Choir Practice.  He played with his friends till everyone went home and then he realized we weren't there. )

No comments: