sundays are tough for me in general, but this one was bad. we'd all had a tough night. gid is under the weather, teddy's 2 year molars are coming in, and i have a baby living inside of me who makes me vomit in the morning, nauseous during the day, and whose favorite time to kick box is from hours 2 a.m. - 6 am.
my gut told me we should skip church. my gut told me to go to our favorite breakfast cafe and order all the bacon they had available, but i convinced myself to slip on a dress, wipe the sleep from my dry eyes, and wrestle an agile toddler out of his pajamas and into a comfortable simple church outfit.
my belly was feeling heavier than normal as we walked into the chapel (2 minutes early, thank you very much!) and as teddy realized that we wouldn't be going to the room full of toys, he began to softly protest and whimper.
a woman who i've never talked to before sitting in front of us turned around with an eyebrow raised and said with a scoff, "what? how can he already be pouting? we haven't even started yet!"
there were so many things i wanted to say. i wanted to tell her that i'd gotten less than 5 hours of sleep for the past several nights in a row, and i was this close to serial murder status. i wanted to tell her that teddy is teething and shy, and doesn't like being in crowded places surrounded by people he's unfamiliar with. i wanted to ask her what on earth possessed her to think that making an obvious statement about the mood of my toddler was a good idea, when she could've easily just said "hi," or smiled, or literally just kept her head facing forward and done nothing. no, she felt like it would be a good idea to ask me, a young mother she'd never met before how a small teething toddler could already be pouting, while at church. hey lady- have you met a toddler before? what normal toddler likes church? (anyone who writes a comment about their perfect kid who loves church will be blocked indefinitely. get outta here.)
the hormones kicked in, and i went from "ugh sunday" to "someone get me a machete livid" in a millisecond.
i didn't say any of the things that were sitting on the edge of my tongue. i gave her a tired, thin smile, and said, "well, he's a little boy," and then smiled at teddy, completely aware that this strange woman was talking about him, and said gently, "that's just fine, sweetheart. sometimes i don't want to be at church either." the woman turned around irritated, as though my response was the height of rudeness.
any other day, i'd roll my eyes and move on. not today. i had a lump in my throat the rest of the meeting. of course this week was the one where gid plays the organ and we sit alone, and of course anytime teddy made a sound the woman would give side eye and whisper to her husband, and at one point tears just started spilling out of my eyes, not because of what the woman said or thought, but because i was that tired, and i knew we should've gone the non-church bacon route this morning! i knew it!!
i spent the rest of the meeting in my own thoughts, pondering the many, many times i've said something that i thought could be funny, and when it came out of my mouth, i realized it was just rude. i thought about how many times i might've been that person; the one who just really puts a dark cloud on your day for almost no reason without recognizing it. i thought about how skilled people can be at wearing masks, and how you really never know what kind of a morning or day someone's had, and how it's always a good idea to be kind no matter what. i thought about what a champ teddy is for tolerating church meetings and how proud i am of him. i thought about how in the future, i need to follow my heart when it tells me to get bacon instead of going to church. bacon never judges you, or scoffs at your emotional toddler. bacon feeds your toddler and makes him happy.
always go the bacon route, alyssa.
i'll never forget what today felt like. i'll never forget sitting in a pew, back aching, belly kicking, tears streaming down my face, with a crying toddler begging to go see the room with the cars. i'll never forget how bacon has never sounded more delicious or righteous than it did today. and the next time i see a tired mom with a cranky kid in target, or at the park, or at the airport, or at church, i'll remember how much it means to have someone in your corner on a day when you. have. just. had it.
thumper's mom was so right when she said "if you can't say anything nice, don't say nothing at all."
anyway, that's what i learned at church today.