Monday, March 26, 2007

Two sides of a coin

Yesterday was one of those moments as a mother when I question the purpose of going to church with a two year old.

We arrived 10 minutes before Sacrament meeting was to begin. Normally we take up a side pew in order to have enough room to amuse/contain Jacob appropriately, but Jacob saw his friend Elizabeth (7 years old and quite adorable- they bonded at the previous night's baptism) sitting down and really wanted to sit next to her in the center front pew. Contrary to my instincts, and most likely against the wishes of my husband (as evidenced by the look he was giving me), I agreed.

Mistake number one.

Now, Jacob also loves sitting in the aisle seat. Usually, this is fine by us. Today, not so much, given Elizabeth's location when we sat down. Here was our pew:

pew--aisle-Jacob-Elizabeth-E's Mom-Me-Nick

Notice that Nick nor I are in arm's reach of Jacob.

Mistake number two.

Jacob did really well in the beginning. He was playing quietly with Elizabeth, looking at books and generally being cute. I did have to lean over a few times and remind him to be reverent, but for the most part things were ok.

And then it was time for the Sacrament.

Jacob, wise to the fact that Mom was not in "reminder/enforcer distance," decided to exercise his new found freedom and stand up on the pew and loudly talk to the family behind us. After ignoring repeated reminders from me, he then noticed his best friend Race sitting at the other end of our pew.

Jacob was so excited, he proceeded to yell - loudly - for Race. Jacob started to get quite hysterically when he realized that it was necessary to wait until after sacrament to greet Race. He started crying, screaming and hitting.

Then it happened. The moment you dread: walking out of the chapel with a screaming child on your hands. Now, Jacob is fairly articulate for his age. So not only was he crying, but he was screaming "don't take me outside. Don't take me outside."


After 10 minutes or so in a darkened room, separated from his books and snacks, Jacob was ready to return to the chapel. I straightened my tear-soaked shirt and led him back to our pew. The same set-up.

Inevitably, Jacob had to be taken out of the chapel again. We have done this dance in the past, but it has been quite a few months since we have done the "sacrament two-step." I was pretty upset, and trying everything to keep the Spirit with me.

These are the Sundays when I get home and, instead of reviewing what I've learned in my classes, I ponder the purpose of church with a two year old.

But as many Sundays as I have spent doing this, I also have many other days when the purpose is reaffirmed. Yesterday was also one of those days.

As Jacob was looking at a Greg Olsen book of illustrations of Christ with Elizabeth, E's mom was asking him questions.

E's mom: "Jacob, who is that?"

J: "Jesus Christ. He's my friend. Jesus helps me feel better."

All it takes is a moment like that, and I will happily do the dance every Sunday.


Mom said...

Laura, not only is this blog a record of your life, but we cherish it as well. I can hear you talking when I read it, your personality, humor and wonderful spirit. More to love!
You and Nick are terrific, caring parents, and it'll be fun to read about your "adventures!"

Love always,

Sarah Louise said...

Hooray! We've entered the age of talking-in-sacrament meeting stories. I love those. Remember Asa's, yelling about the Holy Ghost or the bishop or something? Religious words in the mouths of children make for such hilarity. And cuteness. And tenderness.

I love you and yours.

Laura said...

My best friend Elena asked me to add this on her behalf:

"Just a funny addition to your delightful blog, I thought I'd share a spectator's perspecitve of the "Carrying Jacob Out of Sacrament" scenario:

So when you took Jacob some instead of "Don't take me", it sounded like he was saying "Don't spank me, don't spank me"...I heard giggles from the congregation at this and can I tell you I wanted to stand and (yes...still in the middle of the sacrament) mention the following to everyone....

"Ahem..Excuse me! May I just say that I know that Jacob will not be receiving a spanking as a result of being taken outside today so don't violence has occurred as a result of this Sacrament Prayer...Thank you for your attention, please return to your personal reflection on the Atonement at this time."

OF COURSE this would have been highly inappropriate but I was VERY tempted as I didn't want anyone to question your amazing patience and parenting skills...that would be tragic!

The Morgans also thank you for having your son just long enough before we had ours that you find out all the neat tricks to each phase so by the time Race catches up...I get to skip the frustrating "What do I do?" learning's easy! We just do what the Theodosis Family did and find success every time! Thanks for being amazing and I know you'll do a great job of keeping the blog moving along :-) I have GREAT faith in your abilities!"