As I said before, Sunday’s are not my best day. Maybe they’re really the same as every other day, but I always feel like they’re supposed to be quieter, holier, more introspective. Everyone expects to be unclogging a toilet on a Monday. It just seems like things should be more heavenly minded on Sunday.
No matter how well we start the morning, it’s sure to spiral quickly out of control. Like the Sunday my 8 year old came down with his shirt inside out. Then, when told to fix it, he put it on backwards, and when this was pointed out, proceeded to change it to inside out and backwards. Wasn’t fazed a bit. In fact, he was giving me looks like I was some kind of fashionista forcing my avant garde ways on normal people.
(This also explains why I have to do 14 loads of laundry a week. Other moms get upset when people use an extra bowl or plate. I get upset if you change your outfit more than once a day.)
Clothing is not the only thing that suffers on Sunday mornings. Comprehension seems to have a serious dip as well. On a weekday, if we’re in public, I can give an angry laser look or the death whisper and kids will instantly shape up. On Sunday, it’s like I’m speaking a different language.
One Sunday, two of my boys wanted to sit across the aisle with their grandparents. I decided that a reminder to behave was in order (they were starting to wrestle) so I called them over before church began and said, “You guys need to be good. If I have to come over there to lay the smack down it’s going to be a heavy smack.”
“Huh?” they both said.
“Behave or you’ll be in trouble.”
“What do you mean, what?”
“What are you talking about?”
“I’m talking about you behaving and what will happen if you don’t.”
“What’s ‘behaving’?” one asked, sincerely puzzled as if he’d never heard the word before.
“Being quiet. If you’re not quiet you’ll be in trouble,” his sister chimes in.
“What’s ‘trouble’?” the other one asks blankly.
I give up.
But worse than the stress of getting to church in one piece is that horrible feeling of being a total fake. People come up to me and tell me how well behaved my children are, how nice they look, and all I’m thinking is, “Those kids?” The kids I have to arm wrestle into their clothes? The ones who are only wearing matching shoes because I screamed at them? The ones who slapped each other the whole way to church and cried because they dropped their car blankie on the ground and I couldn’t reach it without having a wreck? The ones I just verbally threatened to behave so they didn’t mortify me during the service? Those kids? But I just smile and say thank you.
When the pastor talks about how we are supposed to enjoy coming to church, how it should be the energy charge for the rest of the week, I wonder how much his wife is buffering for him. Maybe it is a relaxing day of worshiping with God’s people for some. But there are those of us who are praying every week that this Sunday will be the day we make it to church without yelling at anyone.
I’ll let you know if it ever happens.
You know that family that shows up to church in the 15 passenger van? The one that homeschools? Ever wondered how they make it through the day or wished you could be a fly on the wall of their house? Well, I'm inviting you in. I'm 36 and I ride herd on 8 children (oldest is 12), 3 cats, 2 bearded dragons, and one puppy. It's loud, chaotic, and imperfect. Welcome to Life in the Big House!