Monday, January 13, 2020

Little Wrigglers Wreaking Havoc in God's House (The Best Thing Ever)


I went to early church yesterday so my 16 year-old could help teach the little bitty kids during that service. The littles really seem to like her and a couple of them always insist on sitting next to her when they do crafts. It’s nice for all of them, I think.
I watched her stand in the front of the sanctuary, waving the kids to come forward, to leave their moms. Some ran, some clung, some spun in circles. 
I remember very clearly being THAT MOM in church, pregnant with two unruly toddlers, hoping that the other people - the ones all around me who had showered and slept and didn’t have weird crusty baby stains on their best shirt - weren’t giving me The Righteous Sniff. 
I lived for the moment when the nice people would take my children for Sunday School, so I could slump in the pew, desperately needing a break from being the chief wrangler in the 24/7 goat rodeo of raising small children. 
Now my unruly toddler is the one wrangling the unruly toddlers. (IT’S THE CIIIIRCLE OF LIIIIIIFE.) And I’ve found that watching the little kids wiggle around in church, trying so hard to behave themselves, while their parents shake their heads and whisper admonishments, is one of my very favorite things. 

There’s no Righteous Sniffing happening in regards to those small people, or to their parents. What I heard then was likely the sound I’m making now when I see a tiny person climb up on their parents' lap and make funny faces at the people in the row behind them. 
It’s not The Sniff, it’s The Sigh. Because it’s wonderful, and it’s all in my rearview mirror.
Today, one of the wigglers was wearing a Disney princess nightgown and when her daddy selfishly ignored her so he could listen to the announcements, she stomped her feet and then jabbed him in the thigh a couple times with the tiny pencil meant for writing in the friendship folder. He flinched and made hard eye contact with her, and she gave him a dazzling smile in return. 
It was so great.
Another little person worked very hard to find every envelope in the pew, the ones intended for tithes and prayer requests. She licked the empty envelopes, sealing them carefully, and replaced them exactly where she found them. Then she gave them each a proud little pat, pleased with a job well done. 
Amazing.
So I say to all the parents of small, ill-behaved children in church - I was once one of you. It’s great that you came. Your unruly wrigglers are not a source of consternation to the rest of us, they’re a source of joy. 
Anyone who gives you a righteous sniff is probably constipated and we’ll just pray that everything comes out ok for them. Don’t even worry about it.
A little wriggler looking stealthily both ways and then making a break for it down the aisle in the middle of a church service is honestly the best thing ever and we love it. 
So please keep coming back every week, even if your kiddo is being wild and you’re only there for an hour of free child care. I love sitting with you. 
xoxo, Julie

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