I just have to share this...It's kind of long, so I'm sorry...but I was just flabbergasted today, I'm wondering if anyone has ever had any similiar experiences like the one I am about to share with you.
Since moving to the island, finding our "home church" has been a challenge for both Tyler and me. Both of us grew up in the church and have specific expectations of what we want for our family. He and I come from drastically different religious back grounds, he grew up Mormon and I grew up in a Southern Church of Christ, but overall, we both know what we want. We've tried various churches but so far neither of us have sensed that we have found a church where we felt we belonged. We know that God has a specific church in mind for us...we just can't seem to find it.
I go to a ladies bible study every week and one of the ladies there suggested that Isabella and I visit a new church with her this Sunday, I've really been discouraged and off the hunt lately, so I thought it would be a good way to hop back onto the wagon...The first sign that it wasn't the church for me was the big sign in the parking lot advertising that the church had a bookstore and a cafe inside...since when did going to church on Sunday mornings become a business venture?? I'm trying to keep an open mind so I shrugged it off, I tell myself the times have changed a little...then I noticed everyone was really casual, I'm seeing a lot of blue jeans...I immediately felt overdressed in my sweater set and black skirt...Isabella even more so in her crisply starched sailor dress, lacy socks and matching hair-bow...uhm...apparently we didn't get that memo. I'm starting to feel really out of place, but we go and choose a pew....no sooner had I chosen a nice, empty pew near the back and settled my big diaper bag, (aka The Mothership) when a lady approached me and informed me that children under the age of 12 were not "allowed" to sit in the sanctuary because they are a "disturbance" I would need to "leave my child in the approiate nursery" Uhm...whoa.
My friend saw me bristling so she quickly caught my arm and guided me out of the sanctuary, she encouraged me to check out the state-of-the-art nursery system she heard they have...I was trying to keep my cool and it was taking every possible bit of will power I had not to bolt for the door...I step into the nursery and I am immediately bombarded with three very well-intentioned and sweet women, one asked Isabella's name, one asked her age, one asked me if she had any allergies...all in unison. Then I was handed one of those restaraunt vibrating devices "to alert me if she cried" and was told to write down all of her information on a form-then, go enjoy the message! wait a second...what? by this time my child is clawing her way up my sweater set and is digging the heels of those pretty little Lamour shoes into my thigh like a jockey, she is obviously not having anything whatsoever to do with this hullababloo, there was a lady trying to force a badge with Isabella's "assigned vibrator number" onto her dress, she was prying my child out of my arms. By this time, Crazy-Psycho-Mom side is been rearing her nasty head...and with my daughters small plea of "Help baby! No!" (she calls me baby, not mommy) I'm like, nope sorry. I ask nice lady number one; " Can't I just sit down here with her?! It's our first visit and she's scared." Nice lady number two very emphatically chimed in "Oh, no maam! we don't permit the mothers to stay!" Uhm....exit please?
My kid is hanging onto me like a baby monkey, she's migrating up my body and pretty soon I think I might have to peel her arms off of my eyes, all four of her limbs are wrapped around my body in a clench of terror, I feel the gullet of my throat being compacted by the force of her burrowed head...I make my way back up the stairs to a glassed-in room outside of the sanctuary, theres a nice, cheerful sign on the door that says NURSING MOTHERS ONLY!...(Quick! Bella, hide that sippy cup! this is our only hope!) I go in and mark my territory with The Mothership...three moms are already in there with some very content babies, nursing away. I get a few odd looks walking in with my chattering tot, but I don't care, at this point I know I'm not ever coming back so I just I smile, say "Hi ya'll." and I plop myself right down. Right in front of my seat, at pefect eye-level, in big, capitol, red letters, is a sign that reads: PLEASE KEEP YOUR CHILDREN QUIET!!! ....Sigh....
Maybe I am just old fashioned...but I was brought up to sit through church quietly and with my family...I can remeber not being a disturbance at the age of 3 or 4, sitting nicely for my mother with coloring books and crayons, if I misbehaved, she flicked me on the head or gave me "the look" and that would straighten me right out...How am I supposed to raise my daughter to know how to worship and behave in church if she is not "allowed" to sit in there with me? I'm sorry if I have offended anyone...but this was the first time I had ever been told to basically NOT bring my child to church with me until he/she was 12...the audacity of it all just blew me away.
Slowly but Surely
4 hours ago