Happy New Year!
I am not a religious person. I am at best a lapsed catholic who attends church for funerals, holidays and the occassional baptism (usually my own kids). I will even let you in on a little secret, when the husband and I went to a pre-baptism class for the twins I actually cheated on the test they gave us because I could not remember all the sacraments (Holy Orders, really?)
I don’t really know where or when I actually lapsed, or even if it was a conscious decision. I come from a long line of Italian-Catholics who attended church regularly, went to confession and communion, owned a set of rosary beads and even had one of those portraits of Jesus hanging on a wall in their homes (my Grandma’s was in her bedroom).
I went to catholic school for 12 years (13 if you count that year of pre-k). I wore a uniform (blue plaid), made all my sacraments and participated in mass (well as much as any adolescent can among their peers). Heck, senior year of high school I actually carried the gospel at the beginning of mass since I was the school treasurer.
The husband and I got married in a Catholic church, did the pre-cana classes and even met with the priest before the wedding. We said all the right things and paid the $500 “donation” (I even paid an extra $25 to throw confetti afterwards) and went along our happy lives.
Then the children came and the grandparents began
grilling asking when there would be a baptism and when we would bring the children to mass. It’s never to early to start the kids at mass, one of them would murmur in a pious tone.
We did baptize all 4 kids, picked godparents and “donated” to the church. However, we never managed to take any of the kids to mass. I know, I will probably be struck down but seriously, how is it even possible to take toddlers to mass? If they sit in the “Kid Room” and eat snacks what do they take away from the experience? I can barely get the kids to sit still for a tv show so an hour of trying to make them sit still AND be quiet just seemed like I was setting myself up for failure.
We enrolled the twins in a pre-k affiliated with a local Presbyterian church. It was an excellent program (nationally accredited) and the kids would be introduced to God but not preached too – sold! In the beginning of the school year, an email came around inviting students to attend the church’s Sunday school program. My mom was THRILLED that the twins would have “some God” in their lives but Sunday school never really panned out for us. Some how something starting at 9am, and me actually getting the kids dressed (appropriately) and out of the house by 9am is another story.
This past Sunday I had plans to meet the twins’ former teacher for brunch and she asked if I would be interested in going to church with her – at the Presbyterian church – gasp!! Me? Strange church? I don’t know. I avoided her emails all week but finally decided I could use all the “saving” I could get and agreed to meet her at 10am.
We sat toward the back (thank God) and chatted a little before service started. A couple of people said hello to me and everyone seemed pretty relaxed. The music started and R shared her hymnal with me (yikes singing!) and I braced myself for the unknown.
You know what? I survived. Not only did I survive, I actually enjoyed myself. The service itself was similar to a catholic mass with a couple of differences here and there. What I enjoyed most though, was when the preacher addressed the congregation.
Happy New Year!! he said, and everyone stared at him like he had gotten into the wine a little early. Then he started explaining how September is like a “new year.” Summer is over, vacations are done, memories made and the kids start school. Our lives take on a new set of routines as we say good-bye to our laid back summer ones and watch the days get a little shorter.
WOW, it was like he was speaking directly to me! I have often thought those same things about September but was never quite able to say them that eloquently. I felt inspired and left the service feeling happy, ready to take on September, my “new year.”
Resolution #1:I will try blogging and/or writing more (I slacked this summer) and even, dare I say, write something (no matter how big/small) everyday. People have told me that I “can write” but I always laugh off their comments and tell myself they are just being polite. Well, now it as good a time as any to see if what they say is true.
Resolution #2: I will try to put an end to my endless midlife crisis and rid myself of unwanted drama (a girl can dream right?).
Those of you who knows me are probably laughing, thinking this is WAY too ambitious a list (especially for me). And maybe it is (I do love me some drama), but I will take baby steps and try and see how I do.
Fingers crossed and Happy New Year!!