Ever have one of those days that just blows you away, where something so momentous happens that you can't quite believe it? The kind that almost seems like a dream when things go back to normal?
Yesterday -- Sunday, March 18, 2012 -- was one of those days for me.
Once my morning coffee kicked in, I decided that I was going to pack up Stitch and go to church, which is something I intend to do every Sunday but rarely actually do. If the road to hell is paved with good intentions, I'm on the highway. (I know...you're singing Highway to Hell in your mind now, aren't you?)
You may be wondering why it was just going to be me and Stitch heading out for a little soul saving, but my reasons were sound. You see, Bear normally doesn't make it past the front door of the church without a whole lot of coaxing. Perhaps it's his little inner demon screaming in terror. (kidding...give a mom a break for a little dark humour, would ya?) Last time I went to church with the kids looked something like this:
Step 1: Try to coax Bear into church while hanging on to busy toddler.
Step 2: Abandon Bear on front steps of church and run into church to hand Stitch to Grandpa.
Step 3: Run back outside, praying that Bear is still where I left him.
Step 4: Spend another five minutes convincing Bear to at least enter the church even if he sits just inside the door so that I can keep an eye on him while still hearing the service.
Step 5: Go sit with Grandpa and Stitch, all the while keeping an eye on Bear and watching for our pre-arranged signal that he needs me.
Step 6: Go see Bear because he's signalling me.
Step 7: Go find a paper and pencil for him to draw with because he doesn't like the toys/books I brought him.
Step 8: Go back to sit with Grandpa and Stitch.
Step 9: Hang on to Stitch while Grandpa goes to sit on the floor with Bear to see if he can convince him to come sit with us.
Step 10: Hand Stitch to Grandpa when he comes back and go back to see Bear, as dictated by the frantic pre-arranged signal.
Step 11: I'm stopping now because this is how the whole service went. You get the idea.
So, back to Sunday. With 40 minutes to go before the service started, I decided to go to church. I quickly threw on some clothes, got Stitch ready and then yelled goodbye to Bear. The fact that I was going out was news to him, because I hadn't even bothered asking him if he wanted to come -- I just assumed the answer would be "no." Lo and behold, he says "I want to come, too!" So with 20 minutes left until church started, Bear threw on some clothes and off we went.
I fully expected a repeat of the last time we went to church, so I was kind of bummed that my churchin' morning was going to be ruined. O me of little faith! Much to my surprise, Bear trotted into church in front of me without so much as hesitating at the door and sat down in a pew. Then he decided that he didn't want to sit with me (cramping his style, I guess) and he moved to the pew in front of me. Next thing I know, there's a pretty little girl sitting next to him and they're both engrossed in his video game, curly heads bowed side-by-side over the game console.
Next up was the children's story, and up to the very front of the church trotted Bear and his new friend. "You stay here, Mommy...I'll go myself," he instructed me as I stood up to follow. Did Mommy stay? Not on your life! Fortunately I was able to use Stitch as my excuse to follow. After all, even toddlers like stories! So there we sat, on the floor at the front of the church, listening to the children's story. I still fully expected Bear to decide this was too much for him and get up and walk away, but instead he was that kid. You know the one...the one who continually interrupts the story because he has something to say/add. The one that all the adults laugh at/with because he's just so darn funny/cute. Ya, that one. That was my boy. My boy! MY boy! MY BOY!!!
Within minutes it was over and the kids all stood up to head off to Sunday school. This was it, I figured...the end of the run. Until Bear said "See you later, Mommy" and headed off with the others.
So back off, demons! You can't have my boy...my boy goes to church!