This morning, tucked away in a pew about midway up the aisle, I sat in church trying to see my imp masqurading as a 2-and-half-year old. I couldn't see him after he had walked past our seats - clutching his teenaged teacher's hand tightly as she tugged him forward. He was too busy checking everyone else out as he waved his long palm branch fervently to walk with the extra encouragement.
We knew the kids were coming in today. Heck, we even made sure every trace of breakfast was washed for Logan's face and each stray cowlick was lying flat. We knew they were coming in to dedicate their little fish banks - the ones they had been slunking coins in for One Great Hour of Sharing. They were to walk in waving palm branches and sing a little song they'd all studied hard. But we figured they'd walk in, dedicate their banks and walk out. Wrong.
Someone decided it was a great idea to have every child in the Sunday School, ages 2 to 11, walk in at the start of service and stay until they did their little thing just before the sermon was to start. Someone didn't know 2 year olds very well - at least not mine. That 20-minutes was a long time for my kid to sit quietly.
Logan is very comfortable in the church sanctuary. Each Sunday after service/class he goes into for his regular tour of the stained glass windows. He sits in different rows to check out the view from new spots. He climbs up in the pulpit. He's even tried to sit in the Pastor's chair - must to the amusement of the Pastor. So having 20 minutes in this grand place did little more than set Logan's inner-explorer into overdrive.
As the children began to take their seats upon the steps of the chancel I heard a voice. I couldn't make out what it said, but something in the pit of my stomach told me that it was my child. Bruce, who didn't have the giant head of some old guy blocking his line of sight, leaned over and whispered "Its him. Wait, the church school director is shushing him."
And then I heard the most familiar sound I could have at that moment. My son saying "Why?"
Next came "But I don't want this big leaf. I want my little leaf." He was referring to the small palms they made last week out of construction paper - the ones they practiced with last week.
And then, as he rose from his seat and attempted to roam came, "I want to go see my Mommy and Daddy please. I come back later."
And as the choir finished singing their anthem - yes just as the reader was to start the Old Testament piece came the voice again "What are they doing? Why did they sing that?"
Finally it was coming to an end. The kids were to sing their song. I chuckled when they started it - the first word was Hosanna. Just the week prior I had asked Logan if he was going to sing. He didn't respond so I went on without his confirmation. "I bet you'll sing a song that says Hosanna!" And then he spoke. "I can't say Hosanna. I can't say that word." Ahh, yeah right. You just did!
They finished and I heard his little voice again "I want to go see Mommy and Daddy." But he didn't. His teacher whispered in his ear and he dutifully followed her.
When we drove home this morning he went on and on about how he had wanted that small paper palm from last week but they made him take the big palm and they wouldn't let him go see the windows.
I smiled to myself and then broached the subject. "Logan, you know its great to look at the windows and all that stuff once we're done with Sunday School and no one is in the big people church. However, when you come in and you see all the big people sitting in all those seats and you see Pastor David sitting up front in his robe with Pastor Tory and Pastor Wayne, well then we have to be quiet ok."
And it came...."Why?"