Monday, July 6, 2009

Damn Those Church Songs

I don't go to church enough.

I go to church far too often.

I love bringing the kids to church.

I loathe having the kids with me in church.

I feel cleansed after going to church.

I know how petty and nasty I am after having been in church.

* * *

I took the two youngest to church yesterday. We hadn't been, for one reason or another, for several weeks. I managed to suppress any guilt I felt about my absence, particularly since I'm on deck to count the weekly take this week and next. Nothing assauges recovering-Catholic guilt more than the twice-monthly counting of the take at the Episcopalian church of which we are members.

The older kids hate going to church. They are no longer eager to please me and other adults within their orbit. They are content to disappoint, an hour or so each week, with the recognition that no one really holds it against them. They are smart ones, those crafty little heathens of mine.

Youngest insists on going on all outings with me. I am not sure why. I am a supreme bitch, and I've been supremely bitchy lately. I am trying to accept that I will be saddled with a life of pain. The elbow is back about to where it was before the surgery. Add in general uneasiness with the economy. Sprinkle in a huge bit of random ickiness. Stir in emotional distress. The recipe? The no-bake Supreme Bitchery. Available by the slice.

* * *
So, what about those church songs? The last one was "What a Wonderful World." As I have for years and years and years, I cried while singing it. "I hear babies cry. I watch them grow. They'll learn much more than I'll ever know."

With a sharp intake of breath, I realize there are old ladies all around me wiping tears from their eyes.

I am one with them.


Anonymous said...

Ahh I could relate to this post so well, Patty. I was one of those heathen teens that avoided church and disappointed my parents. And now, on the occassions that I do attend church, I too am one of those "old ladies" that cry during the songs. My DH asks why I am crying and it is so hard to explain.

I had to chuckle at your recipe for Bitchiness, I manage to cook that up on a regular basis too! But why is it that we are so quick to proclaim ourselves miserable to live with, and so slow to give ourselves credit for things we do that are right. I think we've all grown up in the culture of women being much too hard on themselves.

Anonymous said...

PS - Come and find me at my new public blog. Different identity, same ol' me. :-)

Coal Miner's Granddaughter said...

Ah, yes. A good, healthy dose of Christian guilt. :) Gotta love it.

Yeah, I haven't been to church in... well, we just won't say. And I don't count the holidays we go to the in-laws' church. Doesn't count.

D... said...

Oh yes, I would have been wiping the tears from my eyes as well. Amazing Grace gets to me, too.

I hate to hear that about your elbow. I am so sorry. That stinks.

You are not alone with an uneasy mind. Sigh.

Janet said...

I attended church Sunday morning and evening and Wednesday evening until I got to college. But if "Wonderful World" had been one of the options, I might still go.
I'm sorry your elbow trouble is back.


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