Sunday, 28 September 2008

When Calming Environments Become Stressful.

I’ve never been a huge fan of the church.

Religion isn’t really my bag.

My folks, or more specifically, my mother has always been a church-goer.

I used to go along with her until I was old enough to acceptably say “Leave me in bed mom.”

I have also been confirmed into The Church Of England faith, but that was more out of a promise my late wife made, after she successfully carried our first born, following a failed attempt earlier.

That really is an aside.

The point I’m shortly to make, has nothing at all to do with god-bothering or bible bashing.

Well it actually does in this case, but not always.

All will make sense shortly.


My experience of going into these beautiful religious buildings, tempered with mild irritation of having to go in the first place, has always been overridingly pleasant.

Having lived in towns and now a village that have picturesque and traditional churches, visits have always been quite charming, soothing and relaxing.


Add child.

My child.

The nearly-four year old version.

It is.

Stress. Stress. Stress.

One of Max’s nursery chums was being baptised along with his slightly older brother. We were lucky enough to warrant an invite.

A nice touch actually.

And looking back on today, my son’s behaviour within god’s four-walls was OK, not exemplary, but OK.

Getting him ready and remembering everything, hoping he doesn’t get dirty in the meantime, should not be allowed on Sunday mornings.

Even the big-man rested on the Sabbath, didn’t he?

Trying to get access to the vestry toilet seconds before the service should start via stuffy strangers, I definitely know, he did not.

There in followed just over an hour of me asking Max to be quiet, he whispering discontent and demanding reason, and also intermittent child-parent telling off for me ‘making noise’ when I’m trying to apply the you-must-be-quiet rule.

Oh, and the two kids got splashed a bit.

Not the worst hour and a half of my life.

But, an example, one of many, of how much life changes when children enter it.

Like taking them to the football.

Something I actually like doing, and get mildly excited by.

No wonder I’ve now got a few grey hairs.


The Dotterel said...

Whatever the parishoners might think, you can be sure the big man (if He's up there) doesn't mind - even about getting dirty on a Sunday. Honestly, most (all?) of the problems people have with church are man (and woman) made!

The Grocer said...

LIfe certainly changes with kids, and keeps changing as they get older.

Mama Nabi said...

I, too, have enjoyed the calming atmosphere of beautiful chapels and churches... I wouldn't mind taking my 3 year old to one just to sit and enjoy, but maybe not during the service. Do you find that, with a child, you have a nostalgic longing for that lost religion...? (NOT faithful longing, mind you) I seem to be doing that...

The Houser's said...

I have found that handling 4 kids in church every week on the "proposed" day of rest would put me on serious medication.. the older two are more fidgety than the younger two and I have a 3 year old that asks where god is rather loudly.. So for the time being we go to the church of holy mattress;)

Kori said...

My kids are actually one of the reasons I don't go; I don't get a thing out of it if I am constantly telling mine to shut the hell up. :)

swile67 said...

I love having kids in church, even if I do have a hard time blocking out their noises at times! At my church, there is a children's program during the service so we don't see the children much but at least parents get a bit of a break! I admire parents at the grocery store too with their children in tow:) I never judge when I hear screaming children wanting all the sweeties tempting them right in front of their faces!!:)

Single Parent Dad said...

Dotterel - I'm not really aware how we went down with the masses, I was too busy sushing.

Grocer - It sure does.

Mama nabi - I don't really. And I agree, enjoy the church when no one else is there.

Housers - So do we usually, and I won't be making a regular habit of changing it.

Kori - That was me on Sunday. Not in a rush to repeat it.

Swile67 - Shopping, now that changes too!

Amy Owens said...

This makes me want to call my mom and ask about it. I remember her keeping a ziploc bag of markers in her purse and coloring and doddling all over the program, every Sunday until I was old enough to follow along.

Single Parent Dad said...

Amy - I know how she felt!

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