June 13, 2010 by greenhouse04
We are slowly letting go of Jake and Ellie. They are now staying with their parents every weekend from Saturday to Monday. One of the biggest things about this new arrangement is that they will no longer go to church with us!
I remember well the first Sunday morning. I was definitely nervous about getting two toddlers ready on my own (one of the perks of being a pastor’s wife!). I carefully planned when I’d get up and when I’d get the kids up, etc, etc. I think I overestimated how much time I’d need, because we were ready 20 minutes early! I learned that it’s best to get the kids all ready right before we have to go – at least, if you want them to look as nice as they do when you first put on their Sunday clothes!
Ellie especially loved Sundays. She loved getting all dressed up. She would ask during the week if she could wear her dress. I’d have to remind her that they are only for Sunday’s, and this is Wednesday (or some such day). Once she picked the dress she wanted to wear, of course she had to accessorize. I got a little tired of cheap plastic beads, so I started letting her wear one of my less valuable necklaces. Of course she loved this treat! She also loved her little white shoes. They were the exact same shoes her friend Sammy wore, and she couldn’t wait to put them on.
Jake also started enjoying putting on his nice clothes – especially his tie! He first wore his tie on Easter Sunday, and was a little confused by it. The next time he wore it, he walked around with his tummy all puffed out proudly! I’ll never forget – we went to a restaurant where there was a little girl about his age. He hung around her showing off his cool tie until we had to leave! After that, he’d ask to wear his tie!
It was so cute watching them walk in front of me down the sidewalk on our way to church, Ellie tripping along with her little pink purse with a bible and Sunday School offering money inside, Jake strutting ahead in his little pants and collared shirt. By the last few Sundays both knew the drill pretty well. They knew to walk only on the sidewalk, and they’d greet with hugs and smiles anyone arriving as they did. Ellie would try to pull open the heavy front doors, then would dash inside to greet more people and show off her dress. They’d sit with me during the opening exercises, then Ellie would go off to class with “Teacher Gail” and her friends, Sammy and Lanae.
Jake would go to Sunday School with me. That wasn’t always a smooth endeavor. I’d catch about a third of the lesson while trying to entertain Jake quietly and keep him from running off. By the last few Sundays I was much more relaxed about it. I’d even let him walk around the table to where my husband was teaching and stand next to him for a while. It was so cute to see his little eyes peeking over the table top as he looked at all the adults. One Sunday he took a book he was reading to an elderly gentleman and showed him the pictures. He did this probably 5 times! I think the gentleman was pretty tickled by it.
Don’t get me wrong – while I’ll miss having the kids at church with me, it wasn’t always rosy. One of the funniest memories was when Ellie ran away from the nursery. I was sitting in my pew listening to Mr.’s sermon, when I heard the sanctuary doors open. I glanced behind me to see a very satisfied Ellie trotting down the center aisle, purple and white basketball under her arm. I sprang up and whisked her out, Mr. never missing a beat. She didn’t mind until I told her to put the basketball away (once out of the sanctuary). She then threw a fit. I’m sure the back half of the congregation heard it!
They also both had difficulty being left in the nursery. I perfected the technique of getting the nursery attendant to get down snacks, giving me a brief window of opportunity to slip out the door while their attention was distracted.
I’ll definitely miss taking Jake and Ellie to church with me tomorrow morning. Getting ready will be a lot quicker and easier, I’ll be able to soak up the entire Sunday School lesson, concentrate on the Lord during the service, talk to lots of people afterwards, and go home at my leisure. . . but I’ll still miss them.