Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Seventh Day

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."
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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.

22 comments:

Tristan said...

Totally love that Sam said Jesus got arrested! That is awesome!

You are a better Mormon Mom than me, cuz if Ryan isn't able to go to church with me I don't go. I don't want to have to wrestle 3 young children by myself.

brooke said...

I try not to dread Sundays but somehow they are always the hardest and longest day of the week. I loved this post and I agree that it is all worth it.

Melissa Walker said...

Great post Gabi--I think every Mormon mom feels like this at some (every) point in her Sabbath career. We have become good friends with our new neighbors and they are amazed at the fact that we spend three hours at church WITH our children! If they only knew...

the wrath of khandrea said...

it does get easier as they get older.
you're right, though. at least they are there and you are doing the right thing. i'm hoping that those efforts pay off when my stepkids gain more independence. heartbreaking is their absence at church.

The Miller Family said...

This was a great, great post! I try so hard to make Sunday a day of rest and focus and peace. But it usually ends up being the day I work the hardest! I think every Mormon mom can relate!

calibosmom said...

AMEN! Some Sundays I wish I could get arrested. At least I'd be alone in a cell and I could nap all day. Great post!

Diane said...

The true reward comes when you see your own children wrestling with their own children at church - and they know it's all worth it in the end.

Hang in there. One day (soon!)you'll be sitting without any children in church (like me), and wish they were there to keep you company and entertain you.

Claire Wessel said...

ok, that seventh day quote is going to keep me laughing for a very, very long time! Thanks for sharing that one!

Christie said...

Sundays are just plain hard sometimes. Mine are so much easier now though. I feel empathy when I see those moms wrestling toddlers the whole time.

I think you need a Sunday vacation. Pretend you're sick one of these weeks.

Annie said...

Wonderful post, Gabi. I remember my mom slamming dishes and clanking pans on one especially difficult Sunday & wondering what her problem was as I floated off to my room to read a book. Now I know!

It *is* worth it. Thanks for reminding ME.

Lauren in GA said...

Gabi, I loved this. It is really worth it...but it is so stinkin' hard sometimes. You worded it perfectly...right down to the speckly meetinghouse carpet and ground in goldfish.

Ah, Goldfish...they are the new Cheerios, aren't they?

Lara said...

I LOVE this post! I only have one little boy, but I can still relate. Yesterday we had to keep him with us all three hours because he has had a cold and still had a bit of a runny nose (I was still tempted to take him) and it was SO HARD to keep him from squealing at the top of his lungs, to keep him in the pew and happy. He had gold fish all over the floor too. I am pregnant with twins. I love hearing about Luke and Sam. I hope I can make it through church with a three year old and two little ones. I have a feeling it will be just a little challenging. But thanks for the reminder that it is all worth it!!!

mama jo said...

just hang in there! actually when they are older they just seem to talk more...good luck!

jessica said...

Amen Sister! A.M.E.N.

Jusy when it got easy...we got our boy. Now all I remember about yesterday's Sunday Service is the stench in the mother's lounge and the dirty looks I got from an older sister watching me as I let Camden do pull ups on the coat rack.

Abby said...

Love that he got the secret wrong. Kids say the greatest things.

Rochelleht said...

Yea, yesterday's sacrament was a DOOOOOOOZY!!! There are days when I wish my hubby would just come down of the stand and sit with us. Tradition be darned.

Jessica said...

Faith should be arrested with how she acts during church.

I just got called to be the Primary Pianist and I couldn't say YES! fast enough. You know who has to deal with Faith during hours 2 and 3, from ages 15 months to 18 months?? NOT ME!! My Sunday just got a little more special. (And since my husband was gone from 6:45 am-5:15 pm yesterday...he can handle a that baby for two hours while I'm plunking away on that piano).

Ilene said...

I try to think that I am getting points in heaven as I wrestle with our kids on the pew. Which is odd, I know.

Jenibelle said...

Bad news Gabi...teenagers are even worse. I want to sell (or give away) mine to the gypsies over their behavior on Sunday.

Next week I'm hanging signs on them..
"Free... and the home doesn't have to be good"

Khandrea is in those few years where they suck you in and make you think you are a brillant parent. Then they revert back to two year olds, only bigger and louder.

♥Shally said...

I tried to read this post, but all I could think about was that delicious looking carmel cake you had on the post before!!

Seriously.

Too bad I will never make it because I am a lazy cook. :) My mouth was (is) totally watering just thinking about it...

Travelin'Oma said...

Back in the day when I was wrestling kids I looked forward to my mature years when I'd finally be able to listen. Now, with no kids to keep me awake, I'm unable to open my eyes after the opening prayer. I'm hoping my spirit is listening because the rest of me sleeps better in church than anywhere else!

Bravo to church-going moms. You're awesome. Enduring to the end of the day is the short term goal, but it makes the long-term goal more probable.

Linsey said...

I needed this. This last Sunday was horrendous and I just about lost my mind.

By the way, it's no wonder there wasn't an 8th day, what with the Lord being incarcerated and all. This is a good lesson in avoiding procrastination -- get it done while you can, no one is immune to external forces at work.

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