Saturday night, I say, “We ARE going to church tomorrow.” It is a statement of faith, and also lunacy.
I wake up at 7:42, because I have somewhere to be in 3 hours, and my brain always thinks hours starting with 6 or 7 are good starting times. So. Very soon, small people have heard my breathing change from across the hall, or they got a bat-signal or something, and so they figured my life would be vastly improved by someone somersaulting on my bladder. I get up. The Man Of God sleeps peacefully, because it’s his morning to sleep in, and besides, we don’t have to be anywhere for 3 hours. I throw back one little comment as I leave the room with my horde of miniature humans, something really submissive and sweet, like, “Must be nice…” or something.
I apply cereal and milk to the general population and then fall up the stairs to look for clean clothes, then two flights down, to the basement Dungeon of Terror, for other clean clothes. I start assembling outfits on the couch. They have finished their cereal and are now running in circles, screeching and laughing, flinging soggy Marshmallow Mateys. I start capturing one and then another, forcing them to have their diapers changed while the other ones jump gleefully over the heads of their fallen comrades.
It would be so much easier if I could just dress them the night before, but kids are disgusting. The only way to ensure a clean outfit is to drive them around nekkid and then dress them IN their Sunday School classes. Birthday suits at church are frowned on, though. Puritans.
Once I have assembled 4 outfits in a row, I know it is time to find shoes. I have been fasting and praying in preparation for this moment. I find 4,325 shoes. Single ones. I find 10 matching pairs of shoes that don’t fit any of the children that live in my home. In my head, I am saying cuss words, but only God and the devil know.
The MOG stumbles by, sweeping his hands out blindly for the coffeepot. I say something supportive and godly, like, “Nice of you to join us…” He offers his support, right after he does 5 other things and drinks his coffee and visits the 3rd heavens. “We don’t have to be there for an HOUR, anyway,” he says. God and the devil, they know.
I return to my couch to find all of the clothes have been ransacked, offered to Bacchus in hedonistic rituals. Also, someone smells funny and someone else has lost their diaper.
Because I am a good, Christian, churchgoing woman, I only threaten violence and rivers of blood, and then I dress and assist-dress all of my young, and put their shoes on, while they cry out to the earth to swallow them up. It is finished.
And then, suddenly, there he is. Helpful, attentive. Ready to serve. I say some other mature things, which he responds to with MORE maturity, and we TALK all the way to church, about our relationship, and the things that make marriage such a FUN RIDE.
In the parking lot, I say some more things to help our love grow, and he doesn’t respond, because we’ve done enough relationship-building. We check 3/4 of the children into class and meet at the front row. And then, somehow, we’re both laughing.
Church. They who endure to the beginning will be saved.