Waking up in a hotel room this morning, an out of routine place, Samuel started early. His constant sounds demanding cereal won’t let us rest. Ralph distracted him with a couple of stroller rides but we finally pulled out the goods, much to Samuel’s delight. Our routine time for cereal snacks is between 3 – 5pm. Not today, 10am.
Rain pelts the outside of the van. As I finished feeding lunch to our little guy, I silently wonder how we are going to make it through the wedding ceremony. He has been so fussy. I’d hate to leave the sanctuary if Samuel gets too loud, but I’m prepared to so for the couples sake and the sake of the guests.
The rain stops as we push to the stroller into the hallway of the worship center. I turn to Ralph, “Did you bring the cereal?”
He shakes his head. “No.”
That just won’t do. I have to go back to the van and get our ace in the hole, Samuel’s cereal. Ralph waits with Samuel in the air conditioning while I rush back to the van, trying not to slip on the newly fallen rain. Opening the sliding door I slip in seeing the bag of Three Sisters Honey Oaties right away. How am I going to hide it from Samuel? If he sees it, he’ll want one. A plastic bag sits between the seats. I grab it and stuff the cereal inside. Now I am ready to go back.
Ralph is talking to a friend when I walk in. Samuel can’t see me because his stroller is faced the other way. I take the opportunity to sneak the cereal underneath the stroller before he is any wiser. Success! He is distracted by all the activity humming around him. We enter the sanctuary and Samuel is silent for the first time today.
The ceremony commences, as Samuel bounces in his bouncer. He is content. The only sound I hear is the squeaking of his bouncer. He is looking up at the rafters above him. It’s as if he understands this is church, even though he’s not been here before. It’s routine we go to church once a week at home. Routine, he understands. And possibility craves. Knowing what is going to happen next because he can’t ask me, “Mommy, what are we doing? Where are we going?”
Suddenly I hear a child’s cry. I look at Samuel. He’s happily savoring his pacifier. Looking over my shoulder, I see a child in a stroller. The father is shooshing his son. Relieved, I turn to Ralph whispering, “It’s not Samuel.”
Our son is a perfect angel during the whole service. We leave triumphant. We didn’t even need to resort to doling out cereal. What have I learned today? Our son loves routine and cereal. Which one does he love more? Too hard to say. Suffice it say, we will not leave the house without his bag of Three Sisters, Honey Oaties.
Can you relate? Would love to hear your story.
Written by Evelyn Mann