We had to rescue a four year old from her (she basically tried to mug him for his cookie... I'm pretty sure he thought she was crazy.). However, all attempts to pick her up and hold her are met with howls these days. She wants to be down, on her own, all the time.
Paul had already visited two parishes before we arrived in town and wasn't overly impressed with either one. His explanation for the second was basically: "It was better than the first, but then they broke out into a rendition of a song called 'We Are Church' and all I could think was that Cam would hate this."
And all I can say is: "Really? We Are Church? They've made it into a song now?" By the way if you google that phrase you can see that it's a movement linked to "womyn priests." No... I don't think I would have been all that thrilled with that parish.
And I won't even get into the story of the first. He actually got up and walked out after about five minutes, which is a pretty good sign that it's no longer on the list of possibilities.
I was hoping for a parish here in town so we could avoid the twenty mile drive in to Ave on Paul's day off (although we'll have to get out there sometime soon!) but this morning I was wondering if that was a realistic dream. It turns out that it was.
I found today's parish on Yahoo! maps and was relieved when it was easy to find. It was a rather pretty building, that's a surprising mix of new and old. It looks older from the outside, but once inside it becomes clear that it's much more modern (although not in a negative way). I was a little put off when I couldn't spot the tabernacle right away (it's beautiful, but a ways off to one side), but most of my attention was on Mae, who was straining to turn to wave at every person who walked into the room.
By the time Mass began Paul had taken Mae out to the narthex, which is thankfully behind sound muffling glass.
Suffice to say that Mae did not do well today. She spent a lot of time outside. She spent a lot of time crying. Eleven o'clock is too close to lunch time (even with a snack before hand) and nap time.
We've got to get organized so we can go to an early Mass. The girls do much better, as a general rule.
However the parishioners were all very friendly. Everyone was smiling and welcoming. There were lots of babies, families with children, single people, middle aged people and elderly people. And when babies cried, no one seemed phased. I didn't see a single glare the entire time. And I was the only one turning around to search the narthex to see whether Mae and Paul were okay.
In fact, everyone we've met has been very friendly. From the nurses in the ER to the woman at Taco Bell who came over to tell me we'd left our lights on, people seem much more willing to connect with each other (as someone who's pretty introverted I've been amazed by that all week! But it's really a sort of friendliness that, surprisingly, doesn't make me uncomfortable).
Other pluses included a priest that seemed to appreciate the beauty of the Mass enough to leave it unaltered and a good homily on a somewhat confusing gospel reading.
I'm pretty excited about our new parish!
Now if I only knew how long it would be before Mae gets through this phase... Actually, maybe it's better not knowing... if the answer is over twelve months I don't want to know! I'm hoping it will actually only be a month or so...