She's been fewer than a half-dozen times, and I think it may have been pretty obvious. I didn't see any other moms pulling an endless array of items to keep small hands busy out of their bags. I didn't notice any other arrays of small-hands-busy items falling into the aisle with little girls done up in tulle and flowers falling behind. Twice. I didn't hear any other children wondering about the unfairness of the grown-ups getting a snack during communion time. And I'm sure that there was only one girl who struck up a conversation with the priest about how coincidental it was that they were both wearing the same long dress.
As I sat there between my squirmy girl, for whom an hour of still and quiet is sheer torture, and my mother, who dutifully took me to church most Sundays of my growing up life, I thought about the question that is so easy for many parents out there, and so hard for others. To Church? or Not to Church?
I was a church kid. I went to mass, attended CCD, had first communion, was confirmed, the whole bit. I never really liked it. I never really felt it. When I was old enough, I stopped going. I tried Unitarianism for a while. I liked that. But I stopped going there too.
My husband? Not so much. He tells my stories of "the church bus" that would come round the Coast Guard Base on Sundays, and drop people at their church of choice. He tells me he went to the baptist church a few times, because the singing was the best. But after a while he stopped. That was about it. He says that the church decision is my decision. He will support (through absolute uninvolvement) whatever I choose. That's a pretty weighty decision. So far I have chosen...not choosing.
But I am feeling like I need to. My kids need to know God. So the big question is...do I go back to the Catholic Church? It it familiar. I know the drill. You go, you sit, you stand, you kneel, you sit, you kneel, you stand, you sit. Sprinkled within is some singing and praying. I always like the shaking hands bit the best. But I never really felt it.
I want to go back...but where? The message is pretty much the same wherever I go. They all get us to heaven (as does simply being a good person in my humble, non-churchgoing opinion). Do I go for familiar? Or do I set my mind to searching for a better fit?