It’s true that pride comes before a fall because I was pretty smug about having my entire family take showers on Saturday night and pick out their church clothes for the next morning. This was going to be the week, the week that we got to church on time.
Usually my goal is arriving before the nice, organized family with 10 kids, but I’d been dreaming of going beyond that, of actually being seated before the songs started. So, I was taking action, that is until our 2-year-old yelled, “No pants! No pants!”
“You absolutely have to wear pants to church,” I explained as I wrestled to slip the right leg on before he kicked off the left. Then, our 10-year-old walked into the room wearing a striped polo that was on backward and baggy camouflage pants that I’m pretty sure he had played in for two days.
“Is this OK?” he asked. I suggested different pants, perhaps solid-colored ones, but I did not say a word about the fact that his shirt was facing the wrong direction. And when he came back wearing slacks with one leg tucked into a white tube sock, I still said nothing. Time was slipping away from me – and so was his bare-bottomed little brother.
Somehow my husband and I dressed, let the fluffy dog out and got the boys in the car, only to discover we didn’t have diapers with us and that we hadn’t fed our family. Fifteen minutes and one fast-food stop later, we arrived at church. Late.
Our oldest son, who had switched his shirt around by this time, headed to children’s church, but the youngest screamed when we got within five feet of the nursery. The three of us settled into a pew near the back just in time for a prayer and just in time for the little guy to say, “Mommy poopa pants.” Loudly. More than once. I was never so glad to hear an amen.
Maybe it was grace, but the rest of the service went smoothly, and we laughed all the way to the car. “Jesus cool,” we heard from the toddler in the car seat.
Success, after all.
P.S. I actually wrote this article a couple of years ago. Since then, we’ve added one more son and I don’t remember ever making it to church on time.