I know the more I take Addy to Mass, the less likely she will be to blurt out whatever is on her 2-and-a-half year old mind and more likely to (as much as she can) behave.
And most times, all of the above happens during an hour-long Catholic service.
But on Easter, things were a little different.
Instead of going to our regular church(es), Addy went with me to join grandma at St. James Catholic at 39th and Troost in Kansas City, which is where my father deaconates.
(For those non-Catholics, that means he’s a Deacon and performs various “on-stage” duties during Mass).
Each time Addy spotted “papa” at the front of the church, she would audibly let everyone know. Every single time.
Dad’s church is far more upbeat than your typical Catholic service, with lots of singing and clapping. Addy found that to be entertaining, although she was a little timid when she was approached by people, who knew her by name, during the “peace” break we take during the service.
I always bring the two essentials to church with my daughter – books and snacks. She must have been hungry on Easter morning (because God knows she didn’t have enough candy) because she railed through her Cheerios and puff-snacks in the first 20 minutes, which left almost another hour for her to get sufficiently bored.
She wanted to stand and sit and kneel with grandma and dada. Then stand on the pew. Then I would hold her. Then grandma. Then back to me. Then read a book. Then shout out for grandpa.
You get the picture.
When the grandparents aren’t at Mass, things tend to be pretty quiet with Addy, which is good. I remember growing up that the weekly Catholic service was filled with rowdy children and lots of entertainment. I vowed that if I ever brought kids to church, they would be well behaved.
And while I know that dream is gone, I am encouraged that we can almost get through the Catholic calisthenics routine without a major meltdown or hall-of-fame hissy fit.
Our next challenge will be a three-hour flight to California in a few months for a family reunion.
Perhaps I need to start praying immediately for that adventure to go well.
John Beaudoin is the publisher of the Lee’s Summit Journal. To comment, call 816-282-7001 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.