Tag Archives: sad

He cried, then I cried – in baseball

18 Oct

I thought he made it. He thought he made it. It was such an exciting sight. Cheers from both sides erupted as we all watched him take off for Third base as the Second basekid on the other team chased him. That Second basekid had to dive for Nate to even have a chance at catching our speedy number 8. Nate was almost there. I screamed and jumped. The other child dove. I screamed and jumped. “He made it! He made it!”

“You’re OUT!” The umpire’s call proved me wrong.

My arms fell to my sides. Nate stood on Third in shock. He shook his head in disbelief and sadness.  His head folded under the weight of his helmet as he was guided off the base. Tears slid down his cheeks. Tears slid down my cheeks.

I’m sorry, Buddy. I know it won’t be the last time you are disappointed on the diamond. I can only hope your little heart doesn’t break each time – for both of our sakes.

Wanted: Child-Friendly Church

29 May

Is there any Catholic church out there that actually genuinely welcomes children?

I just read a new announcement concerning children on our church’s website and it left me really downhearted.  It is basically a list of rules our church wants parents and children to follow.  While I understand the need to have rules because many people are rude and don’t respect property or clean up after themselves, it still makes me feel like our children are not wanted there.

It would certainly not be the first time.  I recently wrote about my concerns with having Nate in church, but before that, I experienced the feeling at two different Savannah churches.  One when Nia was an infant and she had started to get a little fussy.  I was already sitting in the last row and was about to get up to take her outside when an usher came up to me and told me that I would be more comfortable in the nursery, oh yeah, and you’re not allowed to have food (Cheerios to help keep Nia occupied) in church either.  The next experience happened this past winter.  Andrew, Nia, Nate and I went to church with Anna Marie, Ella and Maggie.  We were there early and sat in the back of the church at the end of the pew for easy escape.  An older man chose to sit directly in front of us even though he saw we had 4 small children.  Of course they are going to make noise.  They are children.  Two of them are toddlers.  If the noise level even hinted that it was going to be distracting, we’d take the culprit outside.  That wasn’t good enough for the man in front of us.  Just as Andrew was getting up to leave with Nate, the man turned around and said, “You know, there’s a cry room for children like yours.”

We were so disgusted.  Andrew replied, “Yes, I know sir” and got up and walked into the standing-room-only cry room where he was about to go anyway to calm Nate.  When Andrew got back to the pew, he and the man exchanged some words which led to the man asking Andrew if he wanted to “step outside.”  What?!  Not only was that crazy because the man was like 70 and walked with a cane, but as Andrew said to him, “Are you serious?  We are in church!  You’re ridiculous.”

Shouldn’t church be the one place you can receive compassion and acceptance?  Shouldn’t it be where people offer a helping hand or a sympathetic smile not a sigh of annoyance or a look of disdain?   Shouldn’t it compel people to offer even the smallest act of kindness like letting a car pull out in front of you in the church parking lot?

All I want is to worship and feel like I’m part of a community.  To feel welcomed and loved, not scolded and filled with resentment and discouragement.  Here we are, trying to raise our children to follow a religious path and to be loving, patient and accepting as we’re told to be by the Bible, but we keep hitting roadblocks.  I thought church is supposed to help clear the road, not set up the obstacles.

Maybe I’m wrong.  Maybe I’m expecting too much out of church. I just know what I feel and need.  All I can do is pray for the grace and strength to not let those obstacles push us off the path.  I believe all that matters is that we keep God present in our lives and keep trying to do the right thing – no matter how many bumps we hit. After all, that’s the way it should be, right?

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