Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Second Wednesday of Advent
O God, come to my aid.
O Lord, make haste to help me.
O Pew life. It needs it’s own entry in a psychiatric dictionary. The antics of our family in the pew during Mass gives rise to all sorts of speculations on having a section outside in a holding pen for folks like us. I observe, from time to time, other Pewsters, as I will refer to those of us who have to hold back the onslaught of sibling love by separating them during the Our Father. However, this can be a tricky switch without landing on the lap of the person in front of you. There are nods in any direction to those of us sporting scarlet P’s on our lapels.
Our daughters have made seeing who can annoy the other the worst a contact sport by poking or squeezing their hand so tightly their fingers turn blue or scrunching into the other until a lovely shove war ensues during the homily. We have a history of radical Pewstering with the pinnacle being a time my daughter, at 4 years of age, while my husband and I were totally and blissfully unaware, was giving the finger to the family behind us during Mass. Not just a mere quick flick, but an "extended finger” that was held up for all to see for the duration of the Consecration. I wondered why those nice folks were reluctant during the sign of peace. I learned of her "greeting" from my eldest after Mass. Another sibling triumph from her older sister as she showed her the “finger” before Mass and told her to NEVER stick it up.
And then there is the out of control laughing that will occur-- the more you try to stop it... well, you know how it goes, until there we are like a pack of wiry hyenas, hunched and spastic in the confines of our realm. I have to admit guilt of this one.
We once sat down, in the back of the church, thank heavens, as the old wooden pew gave way substantially and we discovered a long crack running the length of it. Well, the girls didn’t miss a beat and were pointing and whispering loudly “Mom broke the bench!” “Dad! Mom broke the bench!” To this day, when entering for Mass, I quicken my pace past the split-bench row. My husband tries to posture he doesn’t know us. My college age son has jumped pew and sits elsewhere. I, on occasion like to remember the times when we would sit cozily, my arms around my daughters, attentively listening to the Liturgy, enthusiastically singing out the hymns. It’s nice for a while in the warm fuzzy, but then, the “finger” and the “broken bench” waft through.