I tried during the final minutes of prelude music before the Sunday meeting began to get Miriam to fall asleep. She was so close that I ventured back to our bench. She lay quietly in my arms, on the brink of snoozing right until the Sacrament started. Then of course she burst into discontented tears. Richard offered to take her out leaving me with the boys.
The deacon brought the bread and I held it out for Eli. He demanded to hold the tray, not a good idea. I asked him twice, or more, to take a piece and he refused insisting on taking the tray. I returned the tray to the deacon and fits of fury ensued. I felt the eyes of all around burning into my forehead. I tried to soothe him but it would not be accomplished. Although I imagine they were looks of compassion rather than looks of judgement, I nonetheless was feeling terribly embarrassed so I stood up and removed ourselves from the chapel, leaving Cameron behind.
In the foyer Richard and I traded children. He did his best to console Eli while I snuggled Miriam to sleep. All the while I fretted about our five year old alone on a bench in the chapel wondering what had just happened to his family.
Fortunately Miriam obliged quickly and I returned to the chapel the minute the doors were opened to me. I need not have worried about our social little son, as I found him in the bench of the kind couple sitting in front of us.
After Sundays like this, where church fails to be the spiritual experience we come seeking, I comfort myself with the idea of brushstrokes, and pray that they are making a beautiful moral painting for my children.