Brother, can you spare a dime?

One thin dime. That’s all it would have taken to stave off a fit of temper in the middle of Mass this morning.

Today is Palm Sunday. This means that everyone processes into church after a reading in the narthex. This means that when everyone files in you have to kind of fill in from sides to front to back. This means that because we got there on time (miraculously given the waffle hysteria that had taken place 15 minutes earlier) we were part of the first group to go in. This means that we sat near the front instead of our usual skulking near the back doors spot. This means Justin and his behavior were conspicuously on display. This means I was terrified.

For awhile he did very well. Until it came time for the collection. I had a few dollars, which I doled out. For whatever reason I had very little change, which Justin likes.  He found a penny and a dime. As the basket came by, the dime went AWOL. Panic ensued when Justin could not find it.  He refused to put his dollar in until he found his “other money.” I tried to give him bigger bills to throw in, he would have none of it. He wanted his dime. He freaked out and I had to take him out, crying for his money.

Once he calmed down, we came back in and Alex produced the dime out of thin air. Not sure if he had it all along or found it.  Of course then he was upset because it was too late to put it in the basket. And we went another round when he lost it while we were kneeling.

It would be nice to spend a few quiet moments reflecting or praying for world peace or something with more of a purpose. Instead I’m usually on my knees begging God to let me survive another day with these guys.

Oh and confidential to the sourpuss woman behind us shooting my husband dirty looks:  You acted as if we didn’t realize that it’s inappropriate to make fart noises during church. We do. And we don’t condone it. You may have noticed in between your scowling that it lasted all of about 90 seconds. Those 90 seconds were probably a lot longer for me than they were for you. I knew it was much more prudent to wait it out than to fruitlessly scold him and draw attention to it, which would have further prolonged it. In short what I’m trying to say is, bite me.

Also confidential to the pleasant woman walking in behind us who said I had a beautiful family:  Thank you. You’re very kind. It’s too bad it only takes one judgmental prude to render nice comments like yours to the back of one’s mind.

© Jennifer Alys Windholz, 2010


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