15 December 2008

Don't Listen to Me. I'm Not Sure What I'm Saying.

I guess I started to deceive myself. I thought that if I tried hard enough, prayed enough, did this or that, was consistent in my discipline, that I would never see the need to write a post like this.

I told the pastor's wife today that I'll work next Sunday in the nursery. I'm scheduled, so I'll show up. But don't put me down for January. You know, I started working once a month there and I thought that would help me advocate for Woodjie a bit... the things he needs to be ok there. I'm finding, though, that my other children need me at the same time.

Maybe I need to quit trying the whole thing. Maybe I am just a hypocrite. Maybe that's it.

You see, I try to be a Christian and act "Christian." Try to train my kids to do the same thing. Part of me thinks that if you are a Christian, you are necessarily a "hypocrite" because no way you're always doing those things you know are right... not being perfect and all. And while I would never want to have someone accept my sin or anybody else's, I'd want someone to accept me the way I am and where I am, trying to do better.

It's a strange concept. On the one hand, "the church" should look different than "the world." On the other, when we go to church as we are... imperfect and bumbling and doing stupid rotten things, repenting of them, and then doing the same stupid rotten thing again because duh I don't know why... we want to be loved and accepted. Then we get mad at other people because THEY're imperfect and not accepting us where we are. Well, what a cycle.

Now, you know that Emperor is a bit... bouncy. And that Elf is autistic. Emperor told me yesterday morning that he HATES church and doesn't want to go again. He started crying and told me every time he goes, he gets into trouble for something. And you know, on the one hand, he sure deserves it. I KNOW the kid. I know how annoying he can be. On the other, if he's in trouble every week he goes, how's that helping him associate "church" with love and acceptance? Ok, but then again, we shouldn't bend all the rules just so that Mama's precious snowflake gets his way (if you read FARK you know what I mean).

But here we are. He doesn't want to go. We arrived at church with the idea that he'd sit with me in "big church" and not go to "children's church." At the last minute, he told me he'd like to go with the other kids. He can behave!

Not five minutes later, I get called in. Emperor has destroyed an entire air hockey table by leaning on it. In the chaos and broken pieces everywhere, Pastor T wanted everyone to SIT DOWN so they'd be out of the way. Well, Elf tells him, you are *not* the boss of me, and when I got downstairs, Elf was parading in front of all the other children. Just to show how independent he was. Emperor was on the "safe seat" crying. Bleh. Elf proclaims before all that he has rights, and small people should have the same rights as big people, and he doesn't have to obey pastor T. (Um, yes, he does, unless Pastor T was asking the kid to murder somebody or something like that. Not likely to happen... don't you know church is not supposed to be that exciting?? LOL Bummer deal, being in New Testament times. But this hereby signifies the END of our reading the Constitution, at least for a while. Someone's getting ideas.)

I think the worst part is having to listen to the pastors try to explain things. I never know what to say. There is nothing to say that will make things better. They are trying to help Elf and Emperor be a part of the class. I am trying to find a balance between letting them go be like the other kids and having them never see other kids at all. This is the only place they see other kids their age.

And changing churches won't help. I'm learning something. The problem is us.

Crap, there I've confessed it. The problem is us. And no matter how hard we try or pray, it's never going to get better. Barring a miracle, my children will always be "weird." We will always be "that family." Bless them, but no one ever says anything nasty to us. I just feel that way right now. I can't imagine tales of Emperor busting an entire air hockey table will go untold to the lead pastor and every family who has a kid in Children's Church... well, that's about everybody. And everybody else will probably figure it out.

I don't know what the bill is going to be for this. D says Emperor is paying him back every last penny if it takes him years. I am thinking that if I could somehow guarantee that social services would never take my kids away for lack of social contact with others, we'd just stay home and forget it. The benefit vs. cost ratio to "talking with people outside your family" is just too great. (If you've seen the Godfather movie, you have witnessed this principle in action, if in a bit of an extreme way. You just never discuss family business outside the family. I have a pseudonym so I guess I can blog about it, though. I'm not understanding the Facebook people. Maybe they have nothing to hide?)

12 comments:

  1. It WILL get better, Mrs. C. Emperor will not always be 7 years old and accident prone.

    As for being a hypocrite, Rich Mullins said: I hear people say, "Why do you want to go to church? They are all just hypocrites." I never understood why going to church made you a hypocrite because nobody goes to church because they're perfect. If you've got it all together, you don't need to go. You can go jogging with all the other perfect people on Sunday morning. Every time you go to church, you're confessing again to yourself, to your family, to the people pass on the way there, to the people who will greet you there, that you don't have it all together, and that you need their support. You need their direction. You need some accountability, you need some help.

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  2. Another thought: It's not just that your children need to be in church. You also need to think about the fact that the Church needs your children! If only squeaky-clean, perfect little drones went to church how would any of us learn to truly relate to our fellow-man? How would any of us learn to adapt to those with differences or difficulties? We can only learn this by being around people that are different. And loving others--the entire household of faith--is foundational for any Christian.

    So, hold your head up high and know that you are doing the Body of Christ a huge favor by letting them love your children. And this will benefit your children, too, of course.

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  3. Daja is sooo right! You are God's blessing to that church ~ perhaps not an easy or comfortable blessing :) but a blessing none the less.Having been the family with the oddly unsocialized child I feel your pain but unlike far too many of His people God adores originality & He must have a high opinion of you to have trusted you with so many highly original characters. I know it's not easy when you are always the family that sticks out like a sore thumb. I know some days you'd like to blend into the background just once! So I'm sending some cyber hugs your way. Not helpful I know but the best I can do.

    BTW, I am super impressed the child could apply what he learnt to his situation & that he single handedly destroyed an air hockey table, whatever that is.

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  4. Awww... thanks for the loving comments, Daja and Ganeida. I'm still thinking on what the best thing to do would be.

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  5. Looks like others have handled the church aspect quite well (and I'm glad, because I didn't have anything brilliant to say [smile]).

    Instead, I'll comment on the Facebook thing: There are two ways to keep yourself safe on the internet: 1. Don't tell anyone anything (via silence or a pseudonym), or 2. Tell everyone everything.

    I lean toward number 2. [smile]

    ~Luke

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  6. It looks like you should keep on working on the constitution I can see a whole lot of lessons based around the questions of, Yes you do have rights as a kid but you also have to obey your pastor (within reason)..lol.. You described the scene so well I was smiling at Elf's spirited defiance and Sad for Emperor.. *sigh*.

    Don't stop going to church Mrs C, they need you.
    (((hugs)))

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  7. Hugs to you, Mrs. C. You must be so frustrated, and yet, God is working in your lives, and in the lives of the church people. I love what Daja & Ganeida said.

    I will pray that God speaks to your heart about the right thing to do (if anything). Sometimes, we just have to wait to hear His voice...

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  8. It will get better. And your kids are not weird!! As others have said your church needs you all.
    You do an amazing job x

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  9. [But this hereby signifies the END of our reading the Constitution] Oh this line had both my husband and I laughing.

    I wish you lived closer and we all went to church together. You would still have kids who sometimes misbehaved and sometimes broke things, but you wouldn't be alone. Marissa broke a digital projector once. Luckily, Ron picked one up at the Boeing Surplus store. Sure, it was used but so was the one Marissa broke. And, the new one was considerably more modern and lighter weight.

    I don't think she has paid us back for it yet! :o)

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  10. Luke, you're funny!! Everything??

    Kim, you might not have appreciated Elf's "spirited defiance" if you were his mom... at that moment... LOL

    And thanks, Claire!! ((hugs))

    Casdok, how 'bout I just say such things are not the normative parenting experience?? LOL Thanks for believing in me when I don't.

    Julie, it sounds like I could use another family as a buffer!! We could take turns trashing the church and have boisterous get-togethers. Hey, we could even have our own exclusive clique! Your place looks a bit snowy, though. :]

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  11. I've been reading through your blog the past week or so and quite enjoy it :) I don't have children, but I'm quite close with a few children with special needs - the sort who "interrupt" just about any gathering with flailing limbs that occasionally send objects flying, uncontrollable drool, and a variety of rather loud vocalizations usually made in an attempt to sing along. I've learned that while I fretted about disturbing a service, those around us were quite happy with our involvement and encouraged our participation - and didn't see these "interruptions" as a disturbance at all. A few looks and snickers from other children, yes...but this pales when one considers the lessons learned on all sides.

    I also laughed about someone getting too many ideas from the Constitution :)

    Allison

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  12. Thank you and welcome, Allison!

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Non-troll comments always welcome! :)