During Holy Communion at my church, it is traditional for the children in the Sunday school class to join in communion. Communion in my church is done through intinction (the pastor breaks off a piece of bread from the loaf and you dip the element into a cup of wine) or as we called it growing up “chip & dip”. In the Methodist tradition either taking the bread, or the wine, or both, or neither puts you in communion with Christ and the Church. Since my 5 year old has had a wheat allergy most of his life he doesn’t take the bread at communion, but instead comes up with his arms crossed over his chest (from my Episcopal days) and gets a blessing from the pastor. During our most recent Feast, Jim came up to the alter with his arms crossed. The pastor bent down slightly and quietly said, “Jesus loves you” from which Jim strongly and forcefully uncrossed his arms and threw them down at his sides in an inverted “V” and said “YEAH!” in something reminiscent of a Power Ranger move. In addition to being a bit embarrassed, I also got the giggles and found the serious moment of Communion lost in the antics of my feisty and exuberant 5 year old who was just thrilled that Jesus loves him. The situation came to mind other scenes and sentences I thought I would never see, hear or say in my lifetime as a mom.
“My mouth is not a parking garage.” (My toddler son trying to put trucks in my mouth)
“And there were in the same country a Viking and a seal keeping watch over their flock by night.” (My daughter’s misinterpretation of Luke 2:8)
“Why did you put your lunchbox behind the couch?”
“The only things you are allowed to put in your ears are your elbows.”
“I’ve been to Heaven. It was about 5 years ago.” (My son at age 5)
“I’d like some rats crackers and simian toast.”
“Why are there (insert favorite cereal here) all over the floor?”
“You aren’t the boss, Mom. Jesus is the boss!”
No truer words have been spoken by my children than that last statement, but I still want so much to be the boss and to be totally in control of every situation. I want my children to be well behaved at all times, including church. I never want there to be Trix cereal ground into my living room carpet. I certainly want my children to obey me. But God has other plans and reminds me constantly that I am not always in control, but if I trust in Him I will get something better…peace.
Being is a mom is the best job I ever had if only for the wonderful writing material motherhood provides. All kidding aside, God’s gift of my children brings me joy, excitement, frustration, anger, happiness and love…YEAH!
Happy Mother’s Day!