Monday, February 28, 2011

In the event of a power outtage, the church has plenty of candles.

I am pretty sure that shining flashlights at people is not really good church behavior. Yet some kid sitting near me on Sunday did just that for over an hour. And his mother never once told him to stop.

Are you kidding me? I realize that church is not always super exciting for seven year old boys. But there was a children's liturgy that the boy could have gone to and he didn't. I understand parents choosing to give their kids quiet toys or books during mass, but the mom didn't do that either. Instead she allowed her son to flash a light in my face. Repeatedly.

I know that kids behave poorly in a variety of settings, but there is something about church that really gets me. There are few people who still go to church weekly out of Catholic guilt. No, most people go voluntarily. So if you chose to be at Mass, I expect that you would choose to respect the people who are also there.

I have two infants. I choose not to sit in the cry room because it is full of kids and their germs. Plus it makes me feel separate from the liturgy. But I do choose to sit in the back row, next to the exit, so that if one of my girls should start to cry we can make a quick and subtle exit. You see, church is not about me. It is about the community. My girls and I are part of that community, but we are not more important than any other in the community. While my children have a right to participate in the mass, I do not believe they should disturb it for any other.

Basically this comes down to manners. And having rules for your children. This child had no manners. His mother had no rules for church. So for 75 minutes I had a light flashed in my eyes. Repeatedly.


  1. Well put.

    I personally don't think it would've been inappropriate for you to say something to him given that he's 7 years old AND he was flashing it in your face! Next time I say go for it. Just a simple - "please stop that hurts my eyes" Then maybe mom and/or dad would wake the heck up and check back into reality. Yeesh...

  2. Did the mom see all this happening? And let it go on? Or was she clueless? If she didn't see it, as a mom, I would TOTALLY want someone to tell me. But I can't imagine that for 75 minutes she didn't notice...

  3. OMG. Those hats in your header? SO cute.

    And yeah. I hate those kind of parents. Because what they're teaching their kids is that other people don't matter, respect is optional, and courtesy is easily dismissed. My kids would NEVER behave like that. They know I'd kill them.

    Now in the right setting? They're insane monkeys. But since they were babies I've taught them basic courtesy. Some people are just clueless.

  4. Erin, I'll say it: they are kids. They don't know better... effing school them if they need it. If you want to have manners with the parents, don't make them feel like worthless parents when you school their kids. 'Cause honestly, it's easy to tell a kid they're bugging you.. it's church, isn't that the place where you learn other people's perspective? and isn't it where you show compassion? it's worrying about what the other mom thinks that makes this hard. Thinking about how to treat a kid is easy.

    Being rude and calling someone else up on their manners is wrong, but I do think that it is appropriate to tell, teach show, ect someone else's kids that they are bothering you....And When, since when is allowing someone else to bother you for an hour plus "polite?" No, it's not... it's catholic guilt, not much more.

    Love, lex and my 2 cents. :)

  5. Erin, a few days after, i gave my 2 cents, i found myself in the same situation... 4 kids using the shopping cart as a roller-coaster between the meat department and the fruit department.

    I thought of you. :)