Mr. T's spring concert went off without a hitch--he remembered the words to the songs, even the preschoolers filled the church with enthusiastic renderings of such classics like "He's Got the Whole World" and "Rubber Duckie." Almost as entertaining as the students in front of the church were the two knuckleheads in the pew next to me.
Team Testosterone and I are not Catholic, so sending Mr. T to parochial school has provided us with a steep learning curve. He's old hat at weekly liturgy, understands when to stand, kneel, sit and the rest of it--can even mumble along a decent Hail Mary in a pinch. The other two? Bludgeoned me with questions the minute we walked into the sanctuary.
"Cool! Mom! Look! They have a fountain!" Their eager fingers reached for the baptismal fount and I shushed them away. "But everyone else gets to touch it!" Yeah, I know. "Why?" That, kids, is a great question. Mama doesn't know the belief behind the fount.
Once seated, the stained glass windows and ceiling paintings of the disciples provided rich fodder for conversation. I thought the boys would be content to look around at all the beautiful things in the sanctuary--our church is as plain as potatoes without salt or butter--this church had statues, pretty windows, paintings on the walls. Plenty to look at and admire while we waited. But my kids brought their evangelical sensibility to our pew. "Hey! That's Jesus with the lady at the well! Mom! He can give you living water so you never get thirsty again." "Where's the disciple who betrayed Jesus?" You mean Judas? I don't think they put pictures of Judas up in churches. "No, the other disciple."
Oh, Peter--he denied Jesus, he didn't betray him. "Yeah--but he before the rooster crowed he said he didn't know God. But they were best friends!" Later he stood firm for his faith. "Yeah--where is he?" "There's 12 disciples up there--you said they didn't include Judas! Who's the other guy?" "Why do they have pictures of Jesus on the cross, Mom? Jesus rose!"
What grieved Team Testosterone most of all was the absence of bibles. "Where is the Bible?" They ripped through the pages of hymnals, "Nope, this isn't one." "Nope." "Nope." "Mom, where's the Bibles?" I don't know. "How can it be a church without a Bible?" Honey, maybe people bring their own Bibles. "But every church has bibles. Maybe they're in back." Maybe. "Let's ask this guy, maybe he knows where the bibles are." I wasn't sure how to explain to them that Catholic churches don't really do bibles--but then there's the whys that come up.
Red-faced, I tried to keep my tribe's commentary at a low volume. Guys, Mr. T will be in soon. "Yeah, but I want to read a Bible." "Hey, Mr. B--check out this little shelf to stand on--it must be for short people so they can see up front." No, that's a kneeler--you don't stand on it--good grief, boys--oh, look! They're starting! Sit nice.
Afterwards a woman I knew complemented me on my handsome sons and looked at me curiously, "They sure asked a lot of questions, didn't they?"
The night ended happily--I walked in late to the PTA meeting in time to see two moms step up to take over the president and treasurer positions--the Green Girl Dynasty is officially over!
Spill it, reader--what do your kids ask you while sitting in church? Oh, I longed for the days when they asked for a pencil and pad of paper!