Anyway, this morning, at the conclusion of Mass, we sang the Salve Regina as we always do during the month of May. Before the song was over, mr. grumpy was next to me telling me that I should take "the child" outside during Mass and keep him behind the glass.
I tried explaining that of course, if C is really loud, I will take him out. (He couldn't hear me. Interesting that he couldn't hear me clearly speaking right next to him but he can hear C talking when he's more than halfway across the church?? The Salve Regina wasn't that loud!) I told him I would speak to him outside. We went outside and again I explained that of course, I would take C out if he's really loud but that Jesus told us to bring the children to him and that it's important for him to be in Mass to learn how to behave, and that I don't take him out if he's just talking here and there. He said something to the effect of me not caring at all that it was distracting to everyone else. He also mentioned one of our former pastors and told me that he had the wall of glass built so that kids could stay out. (This former pastor came back to baptize C, and is a good friend. The gathering space was built so that people would have conversations outside the Church, one of his pet peeves! He's the oldest of 7 boys, uncle to countless nieces and nephews and certainly knows that kids are noisy. He was always extremely welcoming to kids in Mass when he was our pastor!!!!!) We concluded our discussion with me telling him to talk to the priests if it was such a concern to him. He said "I'm talking to you." I again told him to talk to the priests. He said again, "I'm talking to you." I said, well, let's talk to the priest now because he's coming down the aisle - so he turned and walked away. I literally was chasing him down and the priest at the Mass followed me out to see what was wrong. Mr. grumpy completely ignored me, and the priest, who, when he saw that I was upset, was very nice and told me that C was more than welcome to be at Mass and to keep bringing him.
Fortunately, I know from the many parishioners who have spoken to me- and who greet C most mornings, that he is not disturbing them. And one in particular comments that he never cries - he just sings!
Argh. It was so upsetting!!!!
I came home and re-read this comforting post - and the comments too. And I held C tightly and told him Jesus loves him and that he is always welcome at Mass. He may be too little to understand now, but what about when we adopt again and he's older, if someone says it about his brother or sister?
Fortunately, in recent months, I've also been at several churches and have heard priests announcing that kids are welcome in Mass, even when they are noisy. One mentioned how much he loved the communion hymn... which consisted only of the cries and babblings of babies and kids that day!
And the past 2 weekends when we were in Pittsburgh, my former pastor, Fr. T, has a tradition of blessing the children after Communion. The excitement of the children when they come up is tangible. They are SO HAPPY to be at Mass!!!!! I remembered Fr. T saying many many times to everyone- keep bringing the kids and keep having babies.
Here is my favorite part of the above post -
"I think that’s part of what it means to be pro-life. To see children always as gifts of grace, not inconveniences. As always welcome as part of God’s family, not as distractions to be avoided. To encourage and love them and show them that they are wanted. That we want them there because Jesus wants them there."Here are my thoughts and please keep in mind that I can be a bit sarcastic....
1) Sit tomorrow right behind the man. Hold C's bottle just a little bit longer than normal away from him so he howls for it. OK. So I won't do that. But a tiny little itty bitty part of me wants to... clearly, I have work to do on me, too. :)
2) Apologize to the man for C distracting him from his prayers and ask him to pray that all birthmothers, like C's, choose life for their children when faced with an unplanned pregnancy every time he hears C talk or cry.
3) Stop taking C to daily Mass. Not an option, but clearly what he'd prefer! Ugh.
4) Memorize Matthew 19:14 (Let the children come to me and do not hinder them... the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these) and just repeat it when approached by other grumpies!
5) Do nothing. (My mom's advice.) She said if he says anything again, to tell him I'm sorry but that I will pray for him. Don't moms always know best?
What would you do if (have you done when) this happened to you?