Sunday, September 20

Suffer The Little Children

Bethie loves church. She absolutely adores every moment of it. She loves the music, the people, the attention, and the ... dancing. Dancing is not required, nor even requested, of the congregation. My girls provide this little "extra" free of charge. They stand just in front of the alter (we sit in the first pew) and put on a performance. Members of the congregation have come up to me and said that they barely pay attention to the Reverend because they are so focused on my children. Yeah, we upstage everyone.

Since we typically have the undivided attention of the congregation, Bethie has taken to giving them helpful "updates". Last Sunday, the Reverend spoke to me before the service. Nothing special, just wanted to say hi. Then he left in order to come back in with the choir and officially start the service. He was gone for a couple of minutes. Bethie asked me where he was. This is where I made my mistake. I was too lazy to explain the whole thing to Bethie. Instead, I said that he had to go to the washroom. This was meant to:
  1. explain the Reverend's brief absence, and
  2. to get Bethie to wait quietly without asking me a hundred questions
It did not have the desired effect. Bethie stood up on the pew, faced the congregation, and informed everyone that "Rev B. had to go to the WASHROOM!". Oops! I was shocked, but I got her to sit down very quickly. I did not make eye contact with anyone in the congregation. I hoped against hope that if I pretended that Bethie hadn't said anything, they would pretend along with me.

Today, it was just me and Bethie at church. She didn't want to go to Sunday school. She has boycotted the class since they had the nerve to discuss Easter with the children. Apparently, the church's official version of Easter does not include chocolate and little bunnies. At the time, I discussed the matter with the Reverend, but he insisted on keeping the story of the crucifixion in the Easter celebration. We skipped the Easter season altogether, and Bethie now stays in the church for the sermon.

At one point in today's sermon, the Reverend was speaking about how the disciples had an argument about who the best person would be to take over the "reigns" when Jesus would, as predicted, be killed. Bethie leaped to her feet. Her (very heavy) hymn book catapulted from her lap, through the air, and came crashing (yeah, crashing) down near the base of the alter. She turned to face me, which put her directly in front of the congregation. She threw her arms up in the air in a mixture of shock and disbelief, and said "They killed Jesus?!". She had no idea that Jesus was dead. This may be my fault. At home, we focus more on the Christmas story. Bethie went through a phase where she was just a wee bit obsessed with Jesus and wanted to meet him and it was driving me crazy! So I told her that the little boy down the street was Jesus. She was pacified and it amused me when I would ask her where Jesus lived and she would point to his house. But then the Reverend blew it by saying that Jesus was killed! Do you understand Bethie's shock?!

I scooped up Bethie and placed her back on the pew. I swore up and down that Dan would buy her an ice cream sundae if she would just stop talking! I was mortified! Especially because I know the Reverend (and half of the congregation) heard the entire outburst. He was probably thinking to himself "She's already asked me to "gloss over" Easter. Next, she'll probably ask me not to mention Jesus at all!".

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