We laugh. Despite everything we live with, we laugh.
Mass is not something we attend regularly. It’s not that we don’t believe in God; we do. We only go when we MUST go.
Mass is no easy place to sit with any child.
We had a baby recently and like a good Catholic family we decided to have him christened. We knew this would be a difficult task.
“20 minutes, that’s ok, do-able, even” D titled his head smiling. I took a deep breath and opened the car door.
“Okay boys, you must be quiet in here” I pressed my forefinger against my lips as Ethan struggled to get passed me and out of the car. I signed ‘wait’ to no avail.”Shhh Shhh” he roared trying harder to get passed me. ‘J’ looked at me, rolled his eyes “Just let him go mam,save yourself the hassle.”
We got into the church relatively quietly, Ethan was singing”Woody cowboy yee-haw” as the priest gave the final blessing over his 12’o’clock congregation. I signed ‘quiet’ to him but as usual his response was a loud” Shhhhh” I shrugged my shoulders as our friends and families started crowding around us. I smiled at them and prayed really hard that the priest would hurry on.
Finally,what felt like 2 hours, the church started emptying while we clumsily made our way to the christening fountain. D had the baby while J was running ahead of us, (ignoring us as we called him back) I was struggling trying to hold onto Ethans collar as he shrugged and wriggled desperate to break free.
All forty, or so, of us were now in the church. Ethan was sitting quietly,engrossed in his aunty’s phone, while J was talking loudly after every “shh and hush”. The baby was still sleeping.
We were at the very start of the mass, when the priest began talking about the real meaning of being christened. I looked at D,our eyes met, both of us knowing we hadn’t much time. The priest on the other hand was in his element having so many nodding along with his sermon.
Finally, baby D was christened, all without a hitch. Yeah we had a few screams and squeals from Ethan but no ‘f’ bombs and no ‘boobies’. We were home and dry. Or so we thought.
” AMEN AMEN AMEN A FUCKING MEN MOM, MOM AMEN AMEN GO HOME NOW” “NOW” His voice bounced off every pillar in the quiet church. I could hear my sister trying to coax him to be quiet. Taking a deep breath, I mouthed ‘sorry father’ to the priest as I stood up to approach Ethan.
“NO NO NO NOT YOU” he was screaming at my now embarrassed sister. I took Ethan by the hand and we left. We went straight to the car where he happily jumped in and told me “I blove you”
D came out seconds later, baby in one arm, J carrying the car seat, swinging it from side to side, hitting D’s leg with each step.
I started laughing.”What did the priest say?” “Nothing. I think your parents were apologising, so I left them to it” D placed the baby in the seat and strapped him in while J jumped into the back seat. “You did apologise though didn’t ya?” I was more serious now.” Of course. The priest was grand, it’s your parents who aren’t” we both smiled.
Turning on the engine, “Tell ya what though, how impressed were you with him using ‘f’ word in the right context, I was blown away” D fixed his seatbelt.” Jayous, yeah, I was well impressed, I didn’t think he had the word Amen anymore either!” I laughed as we drove to Nana and Grandads house (D’s parents) where all three of our boys were free to be themselves, swear words and all !