Mission San Miguel, photo by foraging squirrel

On our way back from vacationing in Las Vegas, we stopped off at beautiful Mission San Miguel, a Spanish mission in San Luis Obispo County, CA. As we frolicked (respectfully) among the cemetery, I noticed the above monument. It said, “Suffer the little children and forbid them not to come to me, for the kingdom of heaven is for such.” Mathew 19:14. That’s beautiful, I thought as tears came to my eyes. Until my conversion last year, I had done that – kept my children from God, “But I’ve got them on track now – we’re good!” I thought. Then I realized, we’re not good…there was still the two-year old! I had been keeping her at home during Mass with my not-so-keen-on-Catholicism husband so I wouldn’t have to “suffer” the wild child. Ouch, busted! Great. Did I really have to do this God? My imagination kicked in to overdrive and I envisioned all three children escaping in three different directions at top speed screaming, “I want my donut! I want my donut!” during the middle of the Eucharist.

The verse however haunted me and I decided I couldn’t keep up my selfish ways. I’m a little slow on the up-take so about five months later I worked up the courage to bring all three of them to Mass… by myself. I was sure the anxiety all revolved around my psychosis of “not causing a scene” (which I totally blame my parents for). The kids would probably be angels. I would just promise donuts and everything would be fine.

Jesus On The Cross, San Miguel Mission, photo by foraging squirrel

And it was. Everything was fine. There was no meltdown from my Aspergian six-year-old because Sunday School was not in session. Check. The two-year old didn’t escape my arms and run screaming down the aisle for donuts. Check. And I guess you really can pray to God while braiding your hair so my eight year old was happy. Check. I, unfortunately, was a sweaty mess of anxiety for absolutely no reason whatsoever and spent most of the Mass praying for God to help me get through it. Then I promised myself donuts and felt better. Check mate.

Oh and the best part was, someone else’s kid was really loud, screaming like a banshee during the blessing of the Eucharist. “Wow, my kids would never do that..wink..wink” I thought as Father Gary smiled and said “yes” after the kid screamed “no” for like the fifth time. Then everyone laughed and we all thought how adorable kids are even though we knew better.  So I’ve learned to suffer the little children — because God want’s you to and because really, it’s the best laugh you’ll have at Mass.

3 thoughts on “Busted

  1. Hello Little Squirrel –
    Oh, did this bring back memories! But in my household, in the beginning, Sunday mornings consisted of my Dad, my brother and me getting up and getting ready for Catholic church, then whizzing home to meet Mother with my two younger sisters all gussied up and ready to be whisked of to a Baptist sermon by her. Since Mother and Dad could not agree on a faith between them, I think they were both doubling down to be sure all the bases were covered! As the oldest I often had the duty of sitting between brother and sister to keep them from tittering and giggling like little ones will do, while Mother sat and prayed like the dickens that there wouldn’t suddenly be that “poopie” smell that no one in their right mind could ignore for too long. Crying babies can be cooed but stinky diapers HAVE to be changed. I always kinda hopped it would happen at least half way through the sermon, so we could silently slip out the side door and escape home. If little sis did a doo-doo too soon, I was left with the other two little ones, while she went to the car, changed and returned for what seemed like an eternity of a sermon. I don’t think they had invented donuts when I was a little kid. Would have been nice to have a pay off at the end of two sermons. haha

  2. Dale,
    Thank you for the lovely visuals. Maybe you can come with me to Mass sometime and relive it all 🙂 hey do you spell it donut or doughnut? I always thought it was donut but spell check kept correcting me!

  3. The little ones may not know what’s taking place on the alter but I feel that it’s important for their little ears to hear the sacred word. You did the correct thing in bring them to Jesus.

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