The problem in church today was two-fold. It started out normally with Drew discovering two Smarties on the ground and asking us if we dared him to eat it, to which we replied “yes”, and so he did. But we can get into the pros and cons of daring your children to do unsanitary things later. Next, it is relevant for you to know that when we go to church the kids and I sit together in the pews while Cory’s responsibility requires that he sit on the stand. Several minutes into today’s meeting a young boy in front of us made a noise. Not unlike a pig with a sinus infection desperately inhaling for a hint of oxygen, it caught me by surprise and I started to chuckle. The kids took this as a sign of permission and quickly followed suit. We quietly laughed amongst ourselves but quickly matured and remembered who we were and what we stood for and simmered down.
And then he did it again. Longer this time. And louder.
It wasn’t even that funny, except for some reason it was. I caught a glimpse of the girl a couple of rows over whose eyebrows also shot up over outburst #2 and as our eyes met, she started laughing too. And then we sorta lost it. Like, wiping tears from my eyes, smudging my mascara, snot dripping from my nose LOST IT. This is usually the part where a responsible parent steps in, issues the death glare down the row and threatens through a hiss, “Do I need to sit between you two?” but as I said, CORY WAS ON THE STAND. I kept turning to the kids and saying, “Shhh!” but I was laughing amidst my commands, which is kind of like telling your kid to grab a healthy snack as you’re biting down on a donut. In a word: INEFFECTIVE. I determined that I needed to remove myself from the situation and headed to the foyer to blow my nose, get a drink, and take a deep breath. It worked, and I returned to my seat where my children had also gotten a grip.
Then I looked up and Cory was no longer sitting on the stand, which was highly unusual. Apparently, during our little display of inappropriate Sunday meeting behavior an actual problem arose, and Cory was directed by our Bishop to further investigate. Minutes later I learned that this “investigation” of sorts required my participation as Cory passed down the aisle, whispered some directions in my ear, and resumed his position on the stand. His whispered request alarmed me, and evoked worry about the well being of someone I cared about. I did as he asked, learned the information we needed, then gave him a slight nod and knowing look from the cheap seats as if to say, “I think things are under control for now.” The rest of the meeting was quite lovely, filled with hopeful messages, beautiful music, and general warm fuzzies.
Looking back, it occurs to me that when Cory left his seat only to pass us by a few minutes later and whisper an important message in my ear, this following some seriously irreverent mishaps within our row, it probably looked like he was coming down to tell us to, “Shut up already you guys are emBARRASSING me!” Alas, he was merely doing his duty and following the counsel of our good Bishop. Although, had he come to tell us to “shut up” I can’t say it wouldn’t have been uncalled for. I would have looked up at him, flashed a smile and offered, “Want some Smarties?”