My Lenten promise this year is to go to church.

I was born and raised Catholic. I went to Catholic school my entire education, even college. Religion has always been around me, except for lately. I know, excuses - excuses, but it is HARD to take Ben to church. We do it when we have to, but it isn't easy. Why? Ask any 2 1/2 year old to sit still for one hour...ain't gonna happen. Add an 8-month old to the mix. It is tough. So, we haven't gone to church much at all during the last year or so. That is where my Lenten promise came in...

The last couple weekends we went to church on Saturday evenings since Steve was home. The one-on-one parent/kid ratio is doable.

Well, Steve was not home Saturday evening so I kept my promise Sunday morning. Ben, Cecilia and I got to church and headed to the lower church hall to find the babysitting room. The babysitting room is manned by volunteers, and no one showed up Sunday morning. So, up the stairs and off to the cry room we went.

Ben did great at first, but after the "peace be with you" time, it was horrible. At one point after communion Ben actually bolted out of the cry room.

On Facebook that night I wrote:
"kept my Lenten promise and took two kids to church without Steve. Thank God for the family in there that helped reign Ben in after bolting out of the cry room!"

and a friend replied with:
Was that you at the 9:30 mass??? I thought I saw you and some commotion, but I wasn't sure... We are there every Sunday and you are more than welcome to sit with us. We are happy to help!"

Yes folks...we made a scene. It was fabulous. We eventually made it through mass, but it was exhausting. Let's just say that after mass we drove around for a while just because I needed the kids to be strapped in and contained so that I could get a breather.

Times like this are when I wish Steve had a normal schedule, and we could be a normal family that goes to church on Sunday morning. I looked around at all the families in church and I am desperate for the day to come that he has weekends off. Sunday is such a family day, and every time that Steve is gone on a Sunday it feels like a void.

To further my thoughts, times like Sunday morning often prompt me to talk about Steve working on the weekends to people, like the woman that helped reign Ben back into the cry room. I will often add "yeah, my husband is working" into the conversation so that people don't think I am a single parent. And if I add "airline pilot" to the mix people often think that is cool, and that gives me a sense of pride. Steve is a wonderful husband and father, and I don't want people to get the wrong impression about him being absent from our lives. We are a unit, all four of us, and when he is missing from that I want people to know there is a part missing.