I took Justin and Alex to the evening Good Friday service tonight. I’m not sure why on earth I thought that was a good idea. I’d intended to go this afternoon at 3:00 with Barry, but at the last minute he was offered tickets for the Twins game with David and Cameron. I thought, it’s cold and drizzly, we’ll go and spend a quiet evening at church.
Naturally that’s not how it worked. First came Justin’s annunciation during the reading of the Passion that he had to “go poop,” then both of them got squirrelly and smacked each other around coming back from Communion, and the death blow was Alex melting down because he was ready to go, and then going into complete histrionics, refusing to leave because he was mad because he wanted to leave before everyone else started to leave. All logic flies out the window at age four.
So much for a peaceful, contemplative evening. Pretty much ruined it for everyone else too.
Whatever, it’s not the first time I’ve dealt with a temper tantrum in public. I’m sure it won’t be the last (though I’m hoping we’re getting there). What has me frustrated, though, is the fact that a couple of my friends, also moms with kids, witnessed all this going on and either just walked on by, or carried on talking with people in the narthex while I tried to calm Alex down. I eventually had to just pick him up and carry him out of the back of church. Strangers offered a kind word, another woman even asked if there was anything she could do. But the ones who know me, know Alex, and could have at least come over to say hi or try to distract him for a second, offered nothing.
Asking for help is not something that is easy for me. Admitting that I need it is even more difficult. It’s not as if I expected someone to take over and rescue me, but had the situation been reversed, I know I wouldn’t have just left them hanging in the wind.
© Jennifer Alys Windholz, 2011