Today at Mass was the same routine. We pile into our pew, Lowell, Faith, Mommy, and Felicity. There is a 3 foot gap between Lowell and myself to let Faith have a little bit of “wander” room. The music begins and the procession starts. Faith grabs a hymnal and begins her rendition of the song at the top of her lungs. Okay. Mass begins and so does Faith. She climbs up the pew and starts playing with the little girl behind us, climbs down and attempts unsuccessfully to squeeze past me in order to get to the center aisle, turns around and heads over to where Lowell was to see what she could pull off on that side –I purposefully did not look over there because I knew I would not be happy about what he was letting her get away with–. We sit for the readings and Lowell put Faith on his lap for all of 5 seconds before she started to flip around and demand to be put down. He did and she started playing with the little girl again making faces, sticking her tongue out at her, jumping up and down, and babbling like they were the best of friends and we weren’t in church where we should be quiet. Meanwhile, I am holding Felicity, who is almost asleep, and shooshing Faith, telling her to put her tongue back in her mouth, more shooshing, and then there is Lowell: all snickers and giggles over the whole spectacle. Aye, aye, aye … So, the gospel comes and goes, and the sermon begins. This time around, Lowell gets serious and tries to make Faith behave herself and she actually does for a little bit. By the time we stood for the Profession of Faith, had the prayers of the faithful, and sat for the offeratory, she was at it again. Being fed up and real annoyed that Lowell could not make her behave when he tried to hold her, I passed Felicity off and took charge of the situation. I wouldn’t say she was golden, but Faith had a remarkable improvement at that point. She attempted to wiggle free from my arms like she had 12 times before with Daddy, but got nowhere with me. She cried two or three times because I wasn’t being “fun” but I was tired of being distracted and let her know this was not the time to play but to pray. I whispered to her what was going on, we talked about Jesus coming at Consecration, she got to shake everyone’s hand at “Peace”, I’d say it was going pretty well until it was time for Communion. She wanted to go with Lowell. I would have no part of that and neither one of the two were happy about it, but whenever he is in charge, things get out of control. We went to communion, Faith received her MUCH NEEDED blessing, and we went back to the pew for our prayers of thanksgiving (and petition in regards to the behavior of a certain 19 month old). Mass was over, but before the choir was able to begin their recessional hymn, Father had one quick announcement, that wasn’t so quick, and Faith began unraveling again. This time she was louder and unconsolable, so I picked her up and headed to the back for remainder of the announcement that I didn’t end up hearing one word of. Choir started up, Father and the altar servers headed out, and floods of people were right behind him, but I stayed in the back waiting for signs of Lowell. I was watching through the crowd for Lowell and Felicity so failed to notice this woman approaching me until she was right in front of me. I excused myself thinking I was in her way but she actually wanted to talk to me. I immediately thought, “Uh oh. Faith distracted her and she isn’t happy about it.” There was never a time I was more wrong about something! She said, “I just want to tell you how beautiful and refreshing your little family is, and your daughter was so well behaved.” As she said this, she reached out to Faith and rubbed her arm. I was thinking to myself, “This lady must have me confused with another family she must have sat behind. Faith, well behaved??” She continued to tell me that it was so refreshing and beautiful to see a young family, and how she loved to watch my husband with his little girls and the way he looked at me, “Oh,” she said, “it just took my breath away to see how much he loves and admires you. You can see how much he loves you just by the way he looks at you. I just loved watching you all together.” At this point I was smiling dumbly. I really didn’t believe this lady, LOL! She started to walk away as she said, “So refreshing, so loving, thank you!” She thanked me for being refreshing. I was floored! Here I had spent the entire mass concerned for the people around me being distracted by Faith’s wiggling tongue and stomping around, my shooshing, and Lowell’s giggling, and some lady was being REFRESHED?????? I’ve heard it all! I finally caught Lowell and the four of us walked to our car in silence. Where was that silence in Mass, Faith? When we were driving home, I decided that I was never going to be so worried about the people around us in mass ever again because it appears my children’s rowdiness is someone else’s refresher. When we got home and I told Lowell about, it took me that long to tell him because I was still in shock by the whole thing, he got a huge smile on his face and said, “Well, babe, we have such a happy and beautiful marriage that it must just radiate off of us and people can’t help but love it.” I knew he was right and thanked God then and there for all of His wonderful blessings, including Faith and all her craziness!