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?)