This past weekend I was asked to attend a baptism for one of my favorite neighborhood children. I do not belong to the same church as my neighbors, but I did not want to miss this huge day in her life. Other than the neighbors I did not know anyone, so as I entered their church I took a seat in the back. I did not mind sitting in the back by myself, I did not mind the looks I received from the dozens of other attendees, and it did not bother me (too much) that I was so completely out-of-place. What did bother me, however, was that during the prayer, the several talks, and even a piano solo, many young children were either crying or screaming the entire time.
I would look over at the numerous parents with the whiny children and they appeared to be oblivious about the badly-timed antics their own children were making. I could not get the screaming, crying, and whining out of my head; however, the parents seemed to not be affected in any way. I wondered how the parents were able to ignore the horrible sounds so many of the children were making. Does it take practice? Are the parents so used to the behavior of their child that they are able to easily tune it out? Someone help me understand!
After 1 1/2 hours I left the church building, gave many hugs to my adorable little friend, and went home. I was exhausted. I did not attend the festive lunch being provided to celebrate the occasion because I was perplexed by the entire situation. What could have been an inspiring and sweet event was tainted by the tears, screaming, and incessant whining of a dozen children. I would have taken my child out in the hall so that the rest of the audience could enjoy the event; however, it appeared to be an acceptable practice of ignoring your child and still be able to listen to what others are saying.
I guess I have become one of “those mothers” who talk about how they would have reacted, and what they would have done in the same situation. I always laughed at the thought of becoming a cliche’, but after this experience I wear that badge proudly.