Sunday, May 05, 2019


For the past twenty months we've been going to church in phases. I suppose, if we count the time in Durham that Andrew spent as the executive secretary and had to be to church earlier than the children and I had to be there that we've been going to church in phases for longer than that, but since moving here—a stone's throw away from the chapel—our phases have become a lot more flexible.

Grandpa is always in Phase One and any number of children will go with him when he leaves. Alexander is also often anxious to go with Grandpa, though he often ends up going in Phase Two with Mom and Dad. Depending on Zoë's mood (ie. who she's the least angry with any given Sabbath morning) she can also wind up in either Phase One or Phase Two. Andrew plays the organ every other week and has to go even earlier than usual. Rachel and Miriam will walk over to the church whenever they feel like it—in Phase One, Phase One-Point-Five, Phase Two. Benjamin is often raring to go in the mornings and will head to church with Phase One, but other mornings he'd rather spend those few extra minutes playing.

Barring sickness, we've all made it to church somehow or other (and usually on time, too).

Miriam has been experimenting with leaving some hair out of her up-dos in order to frame her face and this morning she asked me to curl the bits of hair she left out (which is a whole lot easier than curling all of her hair because this child's hair is thick). After I curled her hair Zoë wanted me to curl her hair as well, so she wasn't ready to go when Phase One left the building (and nor, for that matter, was I because I'd been curling hair all morning).

Grandpa left with the other kids and the house was nice and quiet while Zoë, Andrew, and I finished getting ready. We headed out about fifteen minutes later, with Zoë holding my hand, pleased to have the undivided attention of her parents (or, more honestly...she just wanted my undivided attention; she was screaming at Andrew all morning to just "not talk" to her and so forth).

We walked into church, still plenty early and found Grandpa and the kids sitting on the pew.

"Wait," Andrew said. "Where's Benjamin?"

"What do you mean?" Grandpa said. "Benjamin's still at home."

"I thought he left with Phase One."

"He's playing in the basement."

"I'll be...right...back..." Andrew backing away from our pew.

Benjamin was rather thrilled to have been forgotten. He said he didn't even hear us leaving; we were equally surprised that we hadn't heard him while we were leaving because it's not often that he's able to play/read quietly for so long!

Andrew asked him what he would have done if he came upstairs on his own to find that everyone had left for church without him. Benjamin replied that he would have walked down to the crosswalk and come to church on his own (he's a good kid).

We might have to start doing a roll call before leaving the house...

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