In this series of posts I will be chronicling my efforts to get back into a weekly mass schedule with my two young children. For the impetus and an introduction, see this post.
In Week Two, I again did not fly solo: my wife was there to help and my mother-in-law was in town. I may be pulling a Charles Lindbergh in Week Three, so stay tuned to see if I successfully make it across the Atlantic.
Highlight: The Hobbit (see this post for an explanation on naming conventions) spending an inordinate amount of time behaving herself: she even used the kneeler for more than just a balance beam. By and large The Hobbit kept out of trouble (second breakfast helped), even though she spent some time burning off energy outside.
Lowlight: The Hobbit using the kneeler after Communion to dance like the guy in the “Turned Down for What” video. If you don’t like offensive dancing, please don’t click the link. Also, don’t attend mass with us for the next few weeks, because I can’t control my child. I wanted to ignore it like a tantrum, but she was going nuts. And look, we don’t encourage that behavior at home, and I don’t know where she got it (can I just throw daycare under the bus?), but the more we told her to stop during mass the funnier she thought it was. We were in the back, and I don’t think anyone else saw us, so the kindly old-folks at the early mass still think we’re a nice couple with a cute little girl.
Thoughts: It’s nice to be on a schedule. Each week we have gone to the 7:30 am mass and then to the zoo. (The zoo is great because (a) The Hobbit loves animals, (b) I love animals, and (c) The Astronaut gets to sleep somewhere else; I’m sure the new sounds and smells are fun for a baby.) As a result, I began thinking about expanding my schedule. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become very plan-driven, and this project is an outgrowth of that compulsion. So starting this week I’ve incorporated something more for my spiritual development beyond my mere corporeal presence before the Eucharist: I have a daily prayer book filled with short reflections, and I plan on spending fifteen minutes or so each day contemplating the prayer and working my way through a related chapter in my Catholic Study Bible. In addition to discussing mass attendance, I’ll be sure to include the bits of inspiration I pick up along the way.
(Originally I was going to just flip to random chapters and see what stuck, but I came across this quote and decided that was a bad idea for someone trying to climb back on the wagon: “So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control . . . .” 1 Corinth. 9:26-27. Thanks, Paul!)