Last Monday night, Sam was giving the Family Night lesson. He had chosen to teach about The Creation and was delivering a stellar oration, complete with visual aids.
"First, Jesus separated light and darkness. He called them day and night. Next, He made the land and the oceans." And so on. Sam knew it all. I felt so proud. I sat back, feeling humbly superior, having raised such a knowledgeable child.
Finally, Sam got to the seventh day. He was stumped. He looked at Luke. He looked at me. He looked at his picture. The earth was complete with plants, animals, handsome Adam and beautiful Eve. What was left?
I pulled him close and whispered helpfully in his ear. Sam's face lit up. Of course! He knew what came next. He stood up straight and held his picture high.
Clearing his throat, he spoke in that very distinctive Sammy voice. "And last came the seventh day. And on the seventh day, HE GOT ARRESTED."
I know Sunday is supposed to be a day of rest, but in some ways, it is the hardest part of my week. All that public parenting. All those expectations --freshly ironed white shirts, homemade rolls for dinner, long afternoon naps. (Translate into semi-rumpled Rugbys, applesauce oatmeal muffins and blogging on an unmade bed, then you'll have an accurate picture of my Sabbath today.)
Mormon moms do a lot to make Sundays special and a lot of the time we do it alone. Sometimes it's because our husbands don't want to come to church with us. Sometimes it's because they have to go early and stay late for meetings. Sometimes they are sitting on the stand at church while we wrestle the children on the benches and give them a Sabbath-appropriate version of the stink eye.
Today Brad has been gone all day, working with an inner-city congregation. He left at 8:00 am with his lunch packed into a cooler. He probably won't be home until it's time for dinner. I hope he likes applesauce muffins.
His Spanish scriptures got dusted off this morning and he's hoping his conversational vocab isn't too rusty. I am proud of him. He is a dedicated guy. I'm grateful. But it's still hard being the one left behind.
All I know is that it's all worth it. The goldfish crackers ground into the speckly meetinghouse carpet. The Mary-Janes and Oxfords that seem to shrink overnight. The rooster-tail cowlick that just won't stay down on Sunday morning.
I know it's worth it because my kids have a whole buncha grown-ups who pray for them and teach them. And, when I'm not wrestling small people into submission on a church bench, I can look around the chapel and see a friend in every pew. I know it's worth it, because I am a believer and this is what we do.
Just remind me next Sunday.