This is a post I had been planning to put up here tonight sometime but after reading Debo's question in her comment to me on my post last night about my son and his "misadventures," I decided I best put it up now before I forget a lot of the details.
Although I did get to bed later than I had originally planned last night, I awoke early - around 7 a.m. - to, of all things, the darned phone ringing! Upon answering it, I discovered it was my son - calling to tell me how things had actually gone for him last night, what he figures to be wrong with the car and that the temperatures had dipped pretty low during his night's snooze in the front seat of the big old "Boss Hogg" buggy of his. Lucky for him, he could start the car, run the heater (drain the gas tank in about 5 minutes flat too doing that) but it did keep him from freezing his skinny behind. I told him there's a good reason right there for him to carry a spare blanket with him in his vehicles. We had some good laughs, a lot of gentle teasing about his predicament and all that. He then told me what to instruct Bill - the son-in-law - to do this morning before he comes over the mountain to get the "Boss Hogg-mobile" on the road again, which was to go up to Sonny Boy's house and take the carburator off his old Blazer there because it would fit his car. (OH and I also learned the year of his Cadillac is not a 1979, but rather a 1969 edition. Considering the clientele of the place where he was stuck last night, does anyone see any irony in the year of the car to his circumstances? When I pointed that out to him, he told me I was just "plain evil." THe kid probably has a good point there!)
But anyway, that is not the answer to Debo's question, which was whether I made it to church this morning and yes, as a matter of fact, I did! The 15-year-old stepgranddaughter as well as the little granddaughter, Miss Maya, both went with me. And wow, was that a memorable service too!
We entered the sanctuary with no problems - not a bit of fussing from Maya. I had a Sesame Street coloring book with me along with a new box of crayons which I handed her as soon as we took a seat. We sat in a pew fairly close to the front of the church along with my neighbors, Shirley & Bo, Kate and Jim and David, who is a brother of Shirley and Kate. All except David live within a couple doors from me. They ALL know me very well as we've grown up together and Miss Maya is quite familiar with Shirley and Kate especially. They all know too that Maya has "issues" and may or may not act exactly the way one would desire of a small child in church. Although we all know I would imagine with little kids, regardless of their abilities, attending church might prove to yield results you didn't quite expect.
And such was the case for us today!
As soon as we sat down, I handed Maya her coloring book and crayons and she very contentedly busied herself coloring away for a good portion of the beginning one third of the service.
When we went in to sit down, I thought Kate, the stepgranddaughter was behind me and then realized she hadn't come up to sit with us but instead, had opted to sit in the very last pew. My mind immediately began to work, thinking of ways to make sure to keep Maya occupied so she wouldn't notice her older sister wasn't seated with us. Unfortunately, shortly before the readings of the Scriptures, Maya detected that Kate was missing. She began looking around and then spied her about six pews behind us and that started her talking.
"Wan go see the Kate. Wan see the Kate and The Feets." - repeating these two sentences over and over. (Kate had some problems with ingrown toenails and had been to see the podiatrist this past Thursday and ever since then, Maya has been fascinated with "The Feets" and wanting Kate to show her the boo-boos on her toes, over and over.
Maya decided she was going to go back and sit with Kate and out of the corner of my eye, I watched to see that was all the further she went. Ok, fine. She can sit there for a while - or for the whole service if she wants - just as long as she's here but is relatively content.
The congregation stood to hear the reading from the Gospel and when we did that, unbeknownst to me, Maya decided she wanted to come back up and sit with me. Which was ok, except that I wasn't aware she was there nor was I aware she was sitting directly behind me so when I went to sit back down, I almost sat right on top of her. (That could have led to disastrous circumstances had I not corrected my sitting down once I realized there was something already there! LOL)
She stayed there a couple of minutes, coloring, then playing briefly with one of the kiddy bags (little cloth bags of cloth and fairly "noiseless" toys the women of the church provides) and then, she decided she wanted to visit again. Off she went, this time she stopped at the pew directly in front of where Kate was sitting and made herself at home with my next door neighbor, Deb, her two daughters Alina and Kylie and Alina's boyfriend, Chris. However, for some reason which we haven't figured out, Maya refuses to call Chris by his name - nope, instead she insists on calling him "Oscar." Go figure that one out, will ya?
That lasted maybe five minutes and she was back standing beside the end of the pew where I was seated. She talked to me briefly - not overly loud but she doesn't whisper either - but she wouldn't sit down with me then. No, instead, she decided to sit down with the couple directly in front of me - Bill and Penny. Just plunked her little butt down beside Bill and as he looked down at her and smiled she was gazing up at him giving him her finest little flirty smile. She sat there for two or three minutes and by that time, the communion service was beginning.
The first table always consists of the organist and then, the first pew on the opposite side of where we usually sit. As the organist was kneeling down, the others filing into the rail, Maya spied the piano and headed straight for it but then changed direction and came back to the altar rail where she ended up kneeling there between R.B. and Denise, a young lady who just today had declared her desire to join our parish. Denise enfolded Maya close to her and when Pastor Joel came to Denise to give her the bread, he knelt down to give Maya the traditional children's blessing. Knowing he'd seen her gallavanting all over the church, especially all over the front of the church there too, it was all he could do to keep a straight face while addressing her. The grin was ear-to-ear there, ya know.
She headed over to the piano again then and this time, since she was starting to eye up the organist and the organ, I got up and hurried over and picked her up, carrying her the whole way around the church and back to where I was seated.
Ok, that table was done, next table coming up and Maya was exploring again - this time in the choir's seating area. As that table was finishing up, a good friend of the family got her to go back and sit down with her for a while. Thanks Mary Kaye for the little rescue operation there.
By the time I went up to take communion, Maya was moving about some more. I got back to my seat just in time to see her heading to the organist's bench, then kneeling down on the floor by the foot pedals! OH NO! I had visions of her reaching out and hitting those bass pedals on the organ with her hands and really messing up poor Brenda's music for the morning.
This time, a young girl, (about 17 years old), Kathryn, got up and routed her to the back of the church and out into the narthex as the service was drawing to a close then.
There were a couple other little things she did but these are the bulk of her meanderings throughout the service today. Thankfully, she wasn't overly loud and disruptive - just curious, just wanting to see and meet "the peoples" and boy, that she did too, big time.
My neighbor Shirley remarked to me after church that perhaps Maya was just testing out the words of Pastor's sermon today which were to show hospitality to everyone you meet - starting with people within your own church by showing them a welcome spirit.
Apparently Maya heard you Pastor Joel - loud and clear! And who knows, maybe it inspired some to see the innocence of little children and be more accepting of the ways they learn the ways of a church service and shares a little bit more love around this way.
After all, there's a passage in the Bible "And a child shall lead them."
So for today, guess that child was meant to be my own little Princess, Maya.