Murray is a textbook two-year old. I often wonder how we were so blessed to have such a child. Recently, I received a gentle reminder as to who ultimately created our boy:
Murray recently learned how to "honk" noses, thanks to one of his aunts. It's hysterical; until he tries to "honk" complete strangers in the grocery store, or the nice old lady sharing our pew at Mass.
Murray also has a great love of music and dancing. Wherever and whenever we are listening to music, he always wants, "one more?". Much to our chagrin on Sunday (after several attempts to keep him quiet), when the choir finished singing the first hymn, Murray clapped and asked quite loudly, "one more?" several times (we were sitting in the third pew from the front). When it was time to sing the "Alleluia", he joined in with a rousing rendition of "la LOOO la" that lasted throughout the reading of the Gospel. Did I mention we were sitting in the front?
Taking a toddler to church is important. They have to learn sooner or later and it's wonderful to pray together as a family. However, taking a toddler to church is also sweaty work: distracting, funny, exasperating, and at times, even painful. Half of the congregation heard the loud thump that accompanied Murray's screams when he fell off the kneeler and banged his head on the seat of the pew.
The aforementioned events are only a few that happened in an hour's time last Sunday. By the time the final strains of "He is Exulted" were sung, I was sweating, shaking and wondering if we would ever be allowed at Mass again. He had a tantrum during the final minutes of Mass, which seemed like hours. Poor Marcia, who was steadfastly attempting to read the announcements, ended up nearly shouting into the mic.
I learned something wonderful that day. During coffee and community after church, Father Raul stopped by to say good morning. When I asked Murray to say sorry for being loud in church, Father let out a hearty laugh. He said to me, "Marie, he is a child of God. He can be as loud as he needs to be when I am preaching, so do not worry. When Jesus was preaching, there were thousands of people, and no microphones! I would be more upset if you were anxious about the noise he makes during Sunday Mass".
The next time Murray causes a ruckus in church, or anywhere for that matter, I will smile and remember that he is a child of God, instead of being embarrassed by his behavior.