I truly believe that God blessed us with our third child simply for adding comedic value to our family. Oh Dominic, how we love thee! This kid can make us laugh while simultaneously making us want to pull our hair out. Laughing always trumps!!
Mass has always been a trial for Dominic. He has been active and loud from birth. Unfortunately for us, and our parish community, Dominic seems to let it all out at Mass every Sunday, despite our best efforts to reign him in. To make it worse, the kid does not seem to understand the concept of whispering, which would be fine, except for his need to provide a commentary of the entire Mass and his stream of consciousness.
Today's Mass was EXCEPTIONAL! Let me try to recreate it for you.
We walk in the door to take our place in what has been collectivly been named "The Cave." The cave is a set of four pews on far left corner of church. In the pew sits three families, ours included. There are six adults and 10 kids, plus one in utero. (No, I am not the pregnant one!) Isaac is the oldest of the bunch at 6 years old. That should paint the picture for you. We arrived just as the opening song started. As we file in the front pew, so begins the customary crying from Dominic begging for Mommy to hold him. I oblige his wishes. Next, comes the monkey ears game. While holding Dominic he weekly pulls my ears out and announces "Monkey ears!" Then laughs hysterically at this ridiculous game. (Note: Remember he cannot whisper, so everyone sitting around us is truly enjoying his rendition of turning me into a monkey!) As usual, I place him on the pew and and tell him that is not appropriate for Church. He shakes it off and begins his weekly pirate game. This is a good time to interject that Dominic has an extremely vivid imagination. A wonderful quality, just not so useful at Mass. And so the pirate game begins. In case you are wondering, the pew is the ship and the kneeler is something I have yet to figure out, and thus begins at least five minutes of Dominic streaming out nonsense about pirates and me trying patiently to direct his attention to the Mass.
Finally, I think I have him engaged in the Mass when he turns to me and loudly announces..."MOMMY, I LOVE YOU! I LOVE YOUR HUGS! HUGGIE, HUGGIE, HUGGIE!" (Said while violently throwing himself in to me to give me hugs.) Cute, yes! Sweet, yes! Mass appropriate...not so much! Then he grabs my arms stretches them out (exactly like Jesus on the cross) and loudly announces "Mom, now you like like Jesus." Repeat the above sequence three times, each time being followed by me trying to correct inappropriate behavior. By now we are to the consecration. I work very hard to keep the children focused during this part of the Mass. I finally thought I had Dominic focused. He was doing great, and watching the priest intently. It was right at the time the priest was elevating the host when Dominic, at the top of his lungs yells, "JESUS IS HERE!" And while this is a valid statement, son, it probably did not need to be proclaimed by you to the entire church.
Are you ready for the Grand Finale???
As Mass was about to end, I felt defeated by another long Mass of redirecting attention and corralling the little people. I was in the pew with the older two, and Jason was standing to the side with the youngest two. After Communion, I was thanking God for the gift of motherhood, the gift of the Eucharist, etc. when I felt Jason thrust Vincent into my arms. And out of the corner of my eye I saw the escapee running down the left aisle of church at full speed. Yep, Dominic was running to the back of church and the game of Chicken was just beginning. All was silent and there comes my kid running up the center aisle, and a very long one at that. All I could do, was pray and I kept repeating in my head..."Don't go up on the altar. Turn right. Turn right." And turn right he did running back down the right side of church. All I could do was watch, completely mortified, and hope that Jason could catch him. And he did.
A special shout out to our St. Edward community. They were so supporting of us after the whole situation. Instead of complaining about our out of control crazy child, they smiled and shared their own stories of Masses gone bad. And in fact, the Deacon told us he was hoping Dominic did make it to the altar because he thought the situation was so funny. So in the end, I am thankful that Dominic gave our St. Edward community a little extra joy today, and me an extra dose of humility!