Last weekend we weren't sure what M's tummy was up to so I hit Saturday evening Mass by myself. It was probably the first time in what seems like forever (though I honestly couldn't tell you) that I have been to Mass without kids. E is going on seven in May so let's just say close to 7 years and roll with it.
1. I have no idea what to do with my hands
When you take a child to Mass there's tons to do with your hands. I have very busy hands on Sundays. Whether it is nursing a baby or dragging a toddler away from the altar or correcting a 2 yr old or helping a 3 yr old go potty or thumbing through the book to get to the right page for a 4 yr old or pointing at a 5 yr old to shape up or giving a thumbs up to a 6 yr old who is behaving and singing along. See? That's a lot of things for my hands to do and at any given moment I probably wish I had at least one if not two extra hands.
So on Saturday once Mass had begun and the hymnal was closed and the Sign of the Cross had been made I was trying to find a comfortable, reverent resting place for my hands. I couldn't find one. It was awkward. I've had busy hands (and feet and mind) for so long I had to think about what to do with my hands. Petty I know. I did find a good spot for them eventually but it felt far from normal but was also a welcomed break
2. I miss my husband
As I looked around the pews there were families and widows and married couples all round - nothing new. I don't know if it was because the kids weren't with me and I just had time to soak it in but it dawned on me the last time that Lee and I sat next to each other in church. Again I honestly couldn't tell you - it has been years and when it was it was at a wedding when there was a child or two under foot. Memory flashback - Not true, not true, not true. It was actually in August when we were all visiting a church he was speaking about Catholic schools after Mass - but seriously not the norm and after wrangling the crew in the pew - I think he'll stick to his work at the altar.
This isn't meant to be a whining observation but I miss him being with me (and the crew) on Sundays. He has fully embraced and dare I say, flourished as a deacon. I tell people, if you only knew the 'good fight' - if you will - he (and I) went through before his ordination. He is not, HE IS NOT the same man he used to be. I digress.
Now he is a deacon and now he works at the altar on Sunday instead of in the pews with me. I lament not having that partnership in the pews but I have found solidarity with other clergy wives who are kind and helpful and understanding because they know having a husband who works on Sundays is different. It is hard and it is a sacrifice. A worthy sacrifice that is easy to get frustrated over (thanks to the devil himself)
3. I need to go to Mass by myself more often
I need the silence. I need the peace. I need the time to pray and think clearly in the presence of our Lord. I need to go to Mass by myself more often. It is so crazy to think I used to have all this time to think and pray and be at church and no one else needed me to do this and that and the other thing.
It is okay for me to have busy hands and to solo wrangle kids - that is my current stage of motherhood and I happen to be totally good and fine and grateful for it.
But after last weekend, I might just call a mama needs a break and head to Mass sans ex-utero kids. I got some gentle kicks in my stomach that there's another Kibbe baby coming so my hands won't be without nursing child for much longer so best to carpe diem while I can