Sunday, May 25, 2008

A Lesson from the Patriarch

The stake patriarch, Val Jackson, spoke in church today. From what I gathered, his talk was very good. Most of my attention was focused on Rachel, so I'm not sure how much I really gleaned. She was rather, fun. I mean fun. Sister Williams said we should say she's fun.

I sat with Bonnie today because we were both "widowed" for sacrament meeting, with Andrew at the organ and Matt up with the bishopric. Rachel and Amy had fun playing for a little while, passing soothers, books, toys, and germs back and forth. Whatever the other one had was infinitely more interesting so they fought over quite a few items.

Then Damien got in on the mix. He lives in the apartment underneath us and Rachel likes to watch him ride his tricycle.

He gave Rachel a lotion tube, which she managed to get open and squirt all over Bonnie, Amy, me, the bench, and herself. Bonnie and I lathered the lotion on each other and on our babies and handed the lotion back to Emi. It was nice to have Damien there, though. He was a nice toy-picker-upper and he entertained Rachel for quite some time.

However, Rachel is rather energetic and doesn't focus on much of anything for too long. She was up and down and all over the place.

At one point during Patriarch Jackson's talk, Andrew had come to sit with us and Rachel was sitting on his lap. She leaned forward, grabbed the top of the bench in front of us, jumped off Andrew's lap and just dangled from the bench, as happy as could be. She kicked her legs in order to make herself swing a little bit.

She thought it was great fun.

The second time she tried it was not so fun. She bonked her face and was quite upset about it. She held her breath in preparation for an outburst. Andrew cuddled her, hoping to calm her down before she started screaming. I could tell it wasn't going to work and started to reach her her, but just a minute too late. I grabbed her and ran out of the chapel, Rachel's wails echoing off the walls.

We went to get a drink from the drinking fountain and she was "all better" in seconds.

Sacrament meeting continued in this wild and crazy fashion, as it does every week. I always feel rather disruptive and irreverent.

After the meeting, Patriarch Jackson came up to Bonnie, Ruth (who was sitting in front of us with her little guy) and me.

"I was watching you girls and I want to talk to you," he said.

Uh-oh! I thought, He noticed how terrible Rachel was today.

"I want to tell you a story," he said.

Oh, maybe this won't be so bad, I thought.

"I knew some girls in Arizona who befriended a rabbi and his wife. They would make them cookies and take them over and visit. One day the girls were singing in church and they invited the rabbi and his wife to come and listen to them sing, so they did. The girls were suddenly very aware of all the noisy children and squirming babies and were very embarrassed about how noisy sacrament meeting was, with all the screaming and throwing and whining going on.

"They made another batch of cookies after church and took it over to the rabbi's house to apologize for how noisy the meeting was.

"'No need to apologize,' said the rabbi, 'That is how it should be. Families worshiping together.'

"He and his wife went on to join the church. So I just want to tell you girls that your children are behaving as they should be."

Phew! I thought, So swinging from the benches like a monkey is normal behavior!

Sometimes it's just nice to know that most people don't care that my child behaves like the chapel is her favorite playground.


  1. My friends and I always sit behind two rows of kids. While they have grown out of the rather more rambunctious stage, they are still a lot more fun than the speakers sometimes... :-D

  2. Ha! That reminds me of the day I brought my "nephew" to my singles' ward. Good times! I've heard several times that while you aren't getting much out of your meetings whilst tending little ones, you're setting a very good example! You've already got her dusting and going to church! Yay!