Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Response

Sheila wrote a great post at A Gift Universe, about her recent experience with taking a toddler to Mass, and how (to be frank) unwelcoming the community was.  I started to comment, then kept commenting, and finally decided it was just rude to keep unloading in her combox.  Soooo I moved it over and made it a new post.  Lucky you!

Ahhhhh, yes.  The anti-child pro-lifers.  We've run into some of those!  I hate that.  Hate it.  Out of the last eight Sundays, I haven't even been near the Church building past the Creed for three of them.  Screaming monster child and I have already gone to sit in the car. 

In the Church, interest in what's going out keeps him wanting to head for the front.  (No, thank you Helpful Old Lady, sitting in the front does NOT help.)  In the cry room, there are four dozen sick children all crawling all over one another and touching things.  In the vestibule, there are pamphlets and holy water fonts and people with [silent] infants whom my child wants to touch.  Out on the sidewalk, there's a STREET my child wants to run in.  So, left with nothing but a writhing 30-pounder, kicking me in the gut and screaming in a genuinely disturbing fashion, I head for the car.  Why not try to solve the problem instead of run away from it?  Because I'll go to jail if someone sees me give my son the swat on the behind that he well knows means "knock it off."  (A swat that works, if I'm able to just give it at the moment, then move right on.  No such luck in public, hence Evil Child appears only in public.) 
When I'm the only one home that weekend, we sit there in the car until I think the people coming out actually waited for the final blessing (i.e. Mass is actually over), then I drive off.  When Joe is home, we wait for him to come out and then ask "how was Mass?"  I'm sick of it, frankly, and utterly depressed by our inability to attend Mass as a family.  We've gone through stages where we took turns going to Mass, which did bring each adult at least the chance for peaceful prayer, I hated that we weren’t “together.”  Priests and adults I love and trust have told me not to worry, that this stage will pass, that we’ll all go to Mass together soon, that I needn’t worry, that this is the first child and the trials of behavior are much fewer with seconds or thirds, that daily Mass is an excellent option for taking my son since it’s short (not as a substitute for Sunday, but rather to give him experience sitting still), etc.  But it still doesn’t mean I enjoy this stage, especially since the chance to “trade off” isn’t really an available chance every weekend.

And I REALLY DO NOT ENJOY going to Mass at an exceptionally holy [read = Latin] parish and being informed, variously:

“Of course, if he gets More Disruptive, you’ll want to move him away from the door so he doesn’t echo into the choir loft.”

“Well, thank goodness the Narthex is Quite Soundproof.”

“They do so much better when their parents are reverent.”  (I wasn’t wearing a chapel veil.)


“Please remember this is a house of prayer, and reverence should be shown.”

Hmm.  My mental vocabulary deteriorates in these kinds of situations pretty rapidly, to the point where it’s a good thing my kid is screaming so loud, or else people might here all the rude things I’m thinking.  Believe me, mister, I’ve spent a lifetime sitting behind children 5-9 years old and being continually frustrated, annoyed, distracted, and disgusted by their antics.  Game Boys, crackers, cell phones, Harry Potter books, gatorade, manicure kits—I’ve seen it all, entertainment trotted out for and by a class of children who are far and away quite old enough to sit still through Mass.  I hate praying and being yanked from concentration by a voice clearly announcing, “I’m bored by this!”  And the voice is not a toddler’s.  Those children annoy me, those children are the ones whose maturity demands silence, and whose parents are gravely at fault.

But parents of toddlers?  Crying infants?  What makes us so annoying?  Sure, that lady I used to see whose baby cried for the entire Mass, and she never left?  That was a little annoying.  After all, something was wrong with the baby!  Maybe he was dirty, maybe he was hungry, but she sure didn’t do anything about it.  I never used to leave Mass when V was a baby, unless it just went on and on and on (and usually ended up being a diaper thing).  I’d stand up, rock him, hum to him, give him a toy, swaddle him up, nurse him…any number of things, and he usually ended up spending more time quiet than noisy.  Once mobility became an issue, of course, that changed, but in general I still don’t leave Mass for reasons of noise.  I leave Mass for reasons of Running To Altar Really Really Fast.  (Then, when we’re someplace fun and I won’t let him play, the noise begins.)  Oh well.  I’m running out of steam and getting frustrated just thinking about it.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Life as we know it

Ok, in concert with getting caught up on school and being back from the Last Great Trip Until Thanksgiving, I was also able to get the phone to cooperate, the internet to be functioning, the power to be on, and the keyboard to be fixed.  All at the same time.  This enables me to get the photos off my phone and into the computer, and share what’s been up with us lately.  So.  Some pictures!  Happy for you!!


Enjoying a visit with cousin Rowan. (aka Last Peaceful Moment Of A Long Ride)


Rowan.  Total cutie.


Lunch at Five Guys…after Daddy took Vincent to get his hair “trimmed”


Havin’ a pop.


Watching the trains cross in Q-Town.


Spotted at church in Stafford: Rodney Dangerfield.


Pine Knoll Shores Aquarium


Breakfast in Bed


At the Children’s Museum in Raleigh (during hurricane Irene)


Keeping Score


Ready for a wedding!


Something sweet.  (Joe is the one swatting Mrs. Cole on the…behind.)


I love my men.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Fixed Links

Ok.  Here:  Now go there and quit pointing out all my shortcomings.

That one works, I guarantee. I posted on the site today today, too, all about dressing nicely for Mass, and a whole bunch of other stuff that probably has nothing to do with the actual subject I supposedly had at hand.  Oh well.

Also,I finished the paper this morning AND started defumigating Geist with no little amount of success, so it was a productive day after all.  Next task is to get all the copies made for RCIA class, which starts tomorrow.  The new pastor is very hands-on, and I hope that will translate into my commitment to the program being us a much less responsible nature…I need a break!

Finally, over on my sister’s blog she’s posted pictures of her latest retreat at the convent, as well as the exciting news that the Sisters officially gave her the packet to begin her process of “application” to join their community.  I think she’s just a little excited.  Smile

Friday, September 09, 2011

7 Respite Takes

I know I’ve been a nonexistent blogger lately, and there are quasi-real reasons for that, but!  I’m going to do Quick Takes today, because if I don’t take a break soon I’ll explode.  So, head over to Jen’s and read her fun and cool takes, then check for more fun things.  Here we go:

UNO ~ Writing a paper on Abraham Lincoln and his use of the “war powers” during the Civil War is proving extremely difficult.  Paper is basically due in three hours, and I’ve put it off and put it off because I just don’t enjoy trying to make a hero of a man who, at least in the very long term, has done grave damage to the country.  To remove the lens of modern experience and see him for “what he was in his own time” is nearly impossible—lauding his work in expanding public works programs, for example, is one of the chief ways his fans demonstrate what a truly society-loving humanitarian he was.  Aack!  No!  Down with government social programs!  Luke!  It’s a trap!  It’s a TRAAAP!!!

TWO ~ Irene came and went, we were in the mid-South for Lee and so got to enjoy that, Katia has handily dissolved herself, and now we’re watching Maria.  Why do we all get this silly idea that hurricanes come in the summer?  They never come in the summer.  They never come when convenient, either.  In the meantime, we’re so happy to have experienced so little damage, especially since none of it at all is a result of water.  The news from further North is not pretty.

DREI ~ Grilled cheese sandwiches for breakfast is completely acceptable.  Especially since you refuse to go to the grocery store until all of the trips-out-of-town are over—aaaaand you threw out virtually EVERYTHING that was previously in the house because it spoiled during the first hurricane.  Thank goodness for insurance, but I still refuse to go to the grocery store.

CUATTRO ~ Speaking of going out of town, we’re all very excited this morning to be leaving (uh, as soon as this paper is done…) for a wedding!  Our dear ol’ buddy Andrew is getting married in [very inconvenient] Kansas City, MO.  He’s a great guy, a faithful friend, and it’ll be fun to be at his wedding, since he was at ours all those long, long yeas go.  Also inconveniently, we’ll be making our return flight on September 11th.  Boo.  So, prayers that travel is smooth and safe, please?  Flying with a toddler under normal conditions is tough, but flying with him under “Sir, please don’t touch that” conditions might be considerably tougher.

CINQ ~ For those who did not go to VirtousPla.Net (see now, look how important it was and you just blew it off before) and read the [highly informative] bio my husband put on there, I am announcing to the blog that I am, in fact, again “in the family way.”  Medical examination has unequivocally found that, in March, another Mazzara will grace the world with loud opinions, bad hair, and unwavering brand-faithfulness to Kraft and General Mills.  I expect it will look a little like this one, only perhaps female (I’m determined to not find out this time…we’ll see how long I last):


SEKS ~ After a disappointing summer, it looks like Round #2 of my garden is actually going to be a garden, and not a petting zoo buffet.  All of the plants now have either fruit or the beginnings of fruit (in the general sense, they’re actually all vegetables), including the two tomato plants “planted” by the creatures that came and stole Round #1.  I think this is funny, that half the plants that are now bearing were put there by the animals who stole the whole stash back in June.  So anyway.  The overachiever of the plot is the Jalapeno plant, which is a little inconvenient.  I’m beginning to see a pattern of inconvenience in my life.

ZEVEN ~ I’m back into the swing with piano lessons now.  Only one family has not had their “first lesson back,” and when they’re in the slot I’ll have a full complement of 32 students.  Yay!  Now the task is to kindly and gently start sending them toward a new teacher, since I’m going to be done done done in six months.  Also, Murphy’s Law demands that we will also move to a new duty station at the same time.  Either way, no more lessons.  I’ll be unemployed.  I’ll be a useless drag on my husband and his single income.  It’ll be fabulous.