In church this past Sunday, we sat nearby a father doing his best to keep his rambunctious kid in line while the sermon was being given. I watched and couldn’t believe the chaos. Kids always have a healthy level of activity during services, but the action coming from this family’s pew seemed more than normal. Not only that, but the child just didn’t look right.
It wasn’t the regular disheveled look where you could see that things had once been put together and the child had simply wriggled out of his Sunday combo. Something was off. His pants seemed to tight, his shirt was too loose, and his hair was far from it’s regular “bouncin’ and behavin’.” In fact, his hair looked kind of like his Dad’s–all slicked back, with a perfect part.
It was then that I realized what was different. The mother was home sick. All of the sudden I was enthralled with the show that unfolded before me. The dad struggled to keep his little boy in tow. He was juggling baggies filled with Cheerios and so-called “Quiet Books” working to keep the congregation’s attention off his little boy and on the pulpit.
His kid was having nothing of it. It was as if this mouse knew full well that the cat was away and he was going to relish every moment. The boy was all over the place. It became clear that his endgame was escape from his father’s clutches and he seemed exceedingly good at accomplishing his goal. I watched as he wiggled out of his dad’s arms and made more than one break for freedom. The only time the father seemed ahead of the game is when his son would make his break for the aisle and the dad would put his leg down blocking the route at the last second.
In mid-chuckle, watching the comedy unfurl before me, I realized in the coming months that could be me. My mood changed from frivolity to fear as I watched and wondered how I would deal with the same situation.
I wondered how I would handle a Sabbath “sick day.” I wondered how I (who have to have assistance getting dressed in the morning myself) would help my boy to get ready for church. I wondered if there was a word to describe something between disheveled and disrobed.
The fathers “go to’s” were closed Ziploc bags of Cheerios and “Quiet Books” that were filled with buttons, snaps, and zippers which, because I can’t move my hands, are all of my league–and they seemed to be the only things keeping this dad in the game.
I pictured Cole making his break for freedom and since I can’t use my leg as a blockade, I wondered if he would be two or three blocks away before I actually caught him.
I’m sure it will be an adventure. There’s not much in life that isn’t. I’m sure there will be Sundays when Kolette won’t feel well and Cole and I will be on our own, what I’m not exactly sure of is how it’ll all work out.
Maybe they make Sunday clothes for kids that use Velcro instead of buttons, snaps, or zippers–I can handle Velcro. Maybe I can hang a “feed bag” of Cheerios off the side of my chair, and when Coleman is good he can just stick his head in the bag. Maybe iPhone has a “Quiet Book” app. Who knows? But, I have to admit that that’s part of what I’m excited to figure out.
Let’s just pray Kolette doesn’t get sick that often.