Judge Not

Didn’t have the greatest of mornings today. My kids went to church looking like a bunch of street urchins. It wasn’t my choice, but we were running late, and I could only put up so much of a fight. I was just grateful that they were dressed, even if David and Cameron were wearing athletic shorts and t-shirts, Justin basketball pants with OLD NAVY emblazoned down the side in huge red letters, and Alex a button-down shirt with the bottom button missing so his tummy was sticking out of it.

Alex was über talkative. And despite my pleas for him to use a whisper, he kept narrating the little fairy tale he was playing, and reading books, and commenting on church décor (“Justin, look! LOOK! There’s the cross! That’s the cross me and Mom got to touch way a months ago!”) in a regular indoor voice. Making matters worse was that it was Palm Sunday, which means Mass was longer, and everyone comes into church in a procession, meaning we weren’t in our usual family friendly area where people kind of know us. Other than at one point where Alex challenged Justin to a wrestling match, which I nipped in the bud rather quickly, that’s pretty much all that was going on.

So I know my kids were not being angels, but they weren’t being devils either. They were being kids. And I was trying desperately to silence Alex, but Alex has been a defiant little shit lately, and my go-to tactics aren’t working at home or in public. But for the love of God, I was trying.

That said, I would like to extend a personal invitation to the gray-haired shrew sitting behind me with her ONE perfect little quiet daughter.


You look like you need it. I was struggling. Sitting in judgement of me, shaking my hand like a limp fish during an offering of peace while rolling your eyes at me, and ignoring my husband when he apologized to you is a very Christian thing to do, isn’t it? I can tell how devout you are by the fact that you made a beeline out of church after Communion.

When you told Alex to “be quiet” how did that work out for you? Was he any quieter? No. Did you honestly think you’d have any more success than I did, after I’d spent 45 minutes telling him the same thing? He wasn’t that loud, it’s not like you couldn’t still hear what was going on. You just had to try to show me up. Send me a message that I wasn’t controlling the situation well enough for your liking.

Out of 50 some odd weeks of the year, we’ve reached a point where they are usually well-behaved and civil a good 45 or so. You caught us on an off day. I hope it made you feel better to try to embarrass us with your constant dirty looks and scorn.

“Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned.”  – Luke 6:37

© Jennifer Alys Windholz, 2012

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