Sundays may be the day of rest but the time spent getting ready for church is anything but peaceful.
I’ll paint you a picture:
Ella’s hair is wild and frizzy from her night’s sleep. I pretend to be a witch, saying, “Come here, my child,” in my most menacing voice. Always up for a game, she inches closer to me until I finally snatch her up. “I’ve got you!” I yell triumphantly and she laughs and struggles while screaming, “Again, Mama, again!” By the time her hair is done and her dress is on, she’s been captured and released by the witch countless times.
Jack lays on the changing table. The toy I initially gave him to keep him still has gone over his head. He tries to roll over to reach it but I’m not done getting his pants on. I give him the toy but he loses it again. This process repeats until I give up on the toy and the changing table and try to dress him on the floor. Mistake. He tries to crawl away as soon as I start putting the sweater over his head. He can’t see and he struggles against me as I try to pull the sweater the rest of the way down. For some reason, all babies think they can solve their own problems. I get the sweater on him and I plaster kisses all over his red, tear-stained face. “Here’s one, and there’s one, and here’s one, and there’s one,” I repeat, like a witch again, this time casting a spell.
By 8:30 in the morning, I’ve already played so many tricks, played so many characters and faced so many meltdowns, it’s a miracle my makeup isn’t always smudged and my clothes aren’t always wrinkled.
I get up before the kids to get ready; the sound of the alarm clock somehow a worse way to wake up than hearing Jack cry for me. But the alone time before the chaos and characters begin is worth the trouble. Though my made up face and carefully chosen outfit is probably the most convincing character of all and the furthest removed from the truth: Confident and Composed Mom.
How could it be the truth when the day of rest is more like a day of wrestling kids into outfits and obedience?
But I do it. Matthew and I do it all, week after week. Year after year. We take the hard mornings because they, too, are worth the trouble. Being at church is worth the effort it takes to get there. It’s worth trying to get Ella to be quiet and walking the hallways with Jack when he’s being too loud. I may not be able to get the most out of the services but there is something there I won’t find at home in my sweatpants and unkempt hair. Worshipping and singing and praying with fellow truth-seekers– even though my body is tired, that is where my spirit finds rest.
Happy Sunday, everybody.
p.s. if any of you want to know the sources for anything, they’re on my Instagram @thecuratedkids or leave a question in the comments!