Frequently events that occurred as the van was being loaded with children, Bibles, purses, bookbags, diapers, extra outfits, passies, coins for the Sunday School offerings, and adults, during the month of peace and glad tidings were characterized by neither. I recall at least two Sundays when, after all 48 of us were assembled in the van, my Man called the family to prayer, before we even left our driveway, to beg the Dear Lord to show mercy on us sinners as we were preparing to enter His house in a few moments for the purpose of worshiping Him and would He please give us another chance to act better and help us to like one another once more. THEN, he began praying for the children.
All of that praying, while necessary for a fresh start on those perilous Sundays, served to make us even tardier for our classes and areas of responsibility. In addition to the stress of the chaos that had caused us to be late, were the feelings of guilt for having been late the Sunday before and the yet-again-busted-intention of doing better than the previous week.
Our sole resolution this year, was not just to do better, as doing better could still find us arriving to church late, just a bit less late. Our goal this year is to be early to church on Sunday mornings
The first Saturday evening of the year rolled around and my Man and I began to prepare for the next day. Outfits were assembled and laid out, children were scrubbed and shined and put to bed on time for the first night in over a week (NOTE to any grandmothers reading: the children were of course, scrubbed and shined during the week, just not put to bed on time). As bedtime prayers were uttered, Kate prayed her usual prayer for her Sunday school teacher, "Dear Lord, please help my teacher be ready for me...". No truer words.
Both my Man and I set alarms for "crack of dawn" and were up and hitting our paces by the time the first child's feet hit the floor. By 8:30, we were almost 30 minutes ahead of schedule. After her breakfast, Kate popped into the bathroom where I was just finishing my Sunday "helmet" and shared, "Mom, you know how big people take a long time to get ready? I wanna be like that from now on, okay?"
"No way, babe, not this morning, we are in high gear today, remember?"
Wordlessly she headed upstairs to get dressed. After finishing Molly's "do" I was ready for my next customer.
"Kaaatttteeeeee, come down so I can do your hair." Nothing. "KATE! Come on, let's go!"
"Mom, I'm still getting ready!"
"Come now, you can finish after I've done your hair!"
Thump, thump, patter, patter.
"Mom," she looked me in the eye, "you interrupted my 'eenie-meenie-miney'."
"I'm sorry, was there an important matter to be decided?"
"Yea, which ring I was gonna wear."
Something that she didn't need help deciding was which glasses she was going to wear. Kate had acquired over the Christmas holidays, a pair of non-prescription, accessory specs that she had simply been a'twitter to sport amongst the flock.
At exactly 9:13 a.m. on January 3, 2011 all 48 of us, those bespectacled and those not, found ourselves in the van on the way to church. "Wanna stop for coffee?" asked my Man, "I don't want to be responsible for anyone having a heart attack when they see us pulling into the parking lot 30 minutes before Sunday school begins."
"Sure," said I, never one to turn down coffee. As we turned down the road, the cherubs in the back began singing their favorite song, though not a hymn, "Oooo ooooo you know it's gonna be allllllright...."
And it was alright, even though a few Bibles didn't make the trip and I'm pretty sure that Molly had Kate's tights on, and Kate was in her fashion glasses, and The Pastor discovered a smudge or four on his dark suit that had to be tended to by his wife who had arrived at her Sunday morning post ON TIME and unperturbed (though a bit nervous about next Sunday...)!
(Please note the EMPTY parking lot behind the gingerbread gal, we were the first ones in the lower lot!! Whoooo Hooooo) I think it would be advisable for all reading this boastful post to begin praying for the Wright's beginning next Saturday night and continuing through the night and into Sunday morning. Only a miracle of grand proportions will see the previously recorded event happening two Sundays in a row, let alone all January-long! Please. We'd be ever so grateful.