Thursday, June 13, 2013

Life Lesson Month of June: Blog 2- Letters from Mom & Mimi

Hi Ellie… or should I say Megan or Olivia or Elizabeth???   This month (and we are only 13 days into it) you have changed your name at least 3 times!  And to make life in “Ellie’s” world a tad bit more challenging, you have added a few additional characters that no one can see but are very much present in your daily interactions!
Take for instance our jaunt to the grocery store:  You were Big Megan… apparently your sister Little Megan was along, as well as your good friend Big Ellie.  You and I had to help these invisible children out of the car and walk them across the parking lot with me hunched over like a decrepit old woman because those invisible little ones were only about a foot tall.   Once we were inside, together you and I had to hoist them into the basket of the grocery cart because you insisted that its child-seat, which sits center stage, was for you alone to ride in (and like a queen I might add!).  Anyway, even though your multiple character choices would make for a great blog this week, I’d rather focus on the character you’ve become.  And besides I am sure that there will be plenty of opportunities throughout your childhood to revisit my first thought!   But this week, my blog focus is on the ‘little character’ you were in Church!

Life Lesson Learned # 15:  When attending Mass with a three year old you must listen extra hard to hear God’s Word as distractions are inevitable for both young and old!

Yes Ellie… that three year old would be you!  For the most part you are very respectful and pretty quiet in church (except for the occasional loud gruff whisper that you yell to your mom when you are informing her that you are being quiet!).  But where you still need a little work is in the “sitting without moving” area.  Let me rephrase that.  After this past Saturday evening… I’m thinking you are going to be our perpetual work in progress!  Let me explain why.  On our drive to Mass, you asked your Mommy if you could bring a Lunchable with you because that is what one of your little best friends at school ate.  Because you are such a picky eater and you specifically asked for this snack your Mommy thought, “why not?”  So we made a pit stop at the Sheetz Convenience Store to purchase this interesting choice of treat for you.  Upon arriving at church, we chose to sit in a pew near the front to give you a good view of the choir.  (That was Mistake #1!)  Once we were seated, settled in, and the service started, you asked if you could take off your shoes and I said yes.  (That would be Mistake #2.)  It was at that moment you realized that you had a hangnail on your toe.  So you sat down on the kneeler and proceeded to try and pull it off.  Your Mommy was not thrilled with this apparent engrossment of yours so she tapped you on the head and signaled for you to stop doing what you were doing and sit still.  You, being the kind of child that can’t let something go until it is completed, shrugged your shoulders and quickly stuck your big toe in your mouth and bit the hangnail off!  I was not only shocked but also amazed at how easily you accomplished this El!  You are one very bendy little girl (and just so you know I did try imitating that feat at home on the same evening just to see if I could bend my legs that far.  Nope… I almost broke myself in two!  My body is apparently not made of Gumby extremities like yours)!  Anyway, back to my story.  After stifling a shocked giggle and recomposing myself, you went from a sitting position on the kneeler to a laying position with your arms and legs wrapped around it like a hotdog bun hugging its content, the hotdog!  We thought you were being a tootsie roll but you said the kneeler was a string and you were trying to balance on it!  Speaking of strings… we brought along Kyle’s bag as it held your doll only to find out that it would be your next distraction.  (And also Mistake #3.)  Who would have thought that the bag itself could be a deterrent!  Actually it was the strings from Kyle’s bag that dangled over the edge of the pew that caused the problem of attracting your attention.  While laying on the kneeler you tried to slide your feet into the loop of each string which created a hammock effect allowing you to swing them back and forth as well as to and fro!  Thankfully you tired of that within seconds and returned to a standing position to watch the interactions of Mass.  (Now came Mistake #4.)  You asked your Mommy if you could eat your Lunchable.  So she took it out of her pocketbook, opened its lid and placed the package directly on the pew.  You dear Ellie took out a cracker, smiled, and set it down on the bench.  You then took out a slice of cheese, placed it on the cracker and whispered that you were going to make a sandwich.  Next you took out another cracker and placed it on the cheese.  Quite pleased with yourself you picked it up and were just about ready to eat it when you realized that you forgot to add the slice of bologna.  With an “Ooops” expression on your face, you set down your yummy creation and quickly grabbed a piece of meat.  Its slippery texture must have intrigued you because you brought that tiny circular slice of bologna close to your eyes for further inspection.  But upon doing so, you let out an “Ewwwwww, this meat smells yucky!”  Ellie, if the whole congregation didn’t hear you, the dozen or so pews surrounding us certainly did!  Your Mommy quietly removed the mystery meat and gave you a wipey-dipe to wash your hands.  (And that would become Mistake #5!)  Being the responsible child you are, you not only washed your hands but the pew too!  And when your mommy took the wipey-dipes away from you, in the blink of an eye you hiked up your bright orange sundress to tummy level and gave its beautiful fabric another purpose.  Yep… you polished the bench as though you were instructed not to stop until you could see it shine!  Oh my Ellie-bean, you were one busy little girl during church service.  At least we had no issues with the passing of the collection basket.  You are the one in charge of putting both your Mommy’s and my envelope into it.  And you are always quite proud of yourself for performing this weekly task without error.  You are also at your very best when it comes time to go to Communion.  As long as Monsignor pats your head or your arm Ellie, you are pleased and satisfied that you too have received Jesus in your heart.  That is my favorite part of Mass because you usually break into a huge grin that spreads from ear to ear.  It is as though you have been blessed with the best gift of all! 

Which brings me back to my Life Lesson Learned El.  Even through the many distractions you created and explored during Mass, I do remember an important part of Monsignor’s sermon that evening.  It was about forgiveness: asking for forgiveness and granting forgiveness.  It was that one word, forgiveness, which seemed to fit perfectly into my blog topic this week.  It is a humbling word and one that our vocabulary should never be without.   So even though it was late in the day and well past dusk, I still made sure to ask for forgiveness for not paying attention to the whole of Mass.  And I am pretty confident that God too had to think about forgiveness.  Only his had to come in the form of granting it!  And that would be to the three of us because distractions are quite common in our daily living.   You may be our little work in progress Ellie, but life as a whole is always a work in progress, and that pertains to everyone!  But it is up to each of us to listen with our hearts and mind and hear what needs to be heard!  God listens.

Till next time Beaner… I always look forward to what you have in store for us for you are my favorite distraction of all!
Love Mimi

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