SB had a sibling visit until 5pm, so I looked online to ensure that I was going to be able to make it to our mass on time. So, here's what I saw when I looked it up:
Holy Mass Times
• 4:00pm • 5:30pm
• 7:00am • 11:00am
• 9:00am • 6:00pm
Monday through Saturday
• 7:00am • 8:00am
- 5:30pm (Vigil)
5:30! Perfect, I could get across the two towns I needed to and back to our church in 30 minutes. So, got everyone ready for mass, packed the diaper bag (with extra books the babies hadn't seen before, as a recently read article suggested), and I was READY. I even had a sling to carry SP so I could have hands free on SB. I. Can. Do. This.....or so I thought.
Anyone else catch the tricky part? I hadn't yet. I pulled into a fairly full parking lot at 5:20. By the time I got the shoes back on SB she threw off and SP in the sling, I walked in at 5:25....ok....5 minutes early, right? WRONG.
Mass started at 5:15 and I got there during the second reading. As I carried SP in the sling and half-dragged a screaming SB (who wanted way more holy water than I had allowed) back to the cry room, I was pretty confident that everyone in the church turned around to look.
Ok, we're in the cry room, the babies are angry, but We. Can. Do. This. There's also no sound in the cry room. Great, so now we can't hear, but I can't go out into the main area because the babies are taking turns SCREAMING.
Somehow, we made it to communion. I carried two babies up to communion, kept SB from actually reaching in and grabbing a host for herself and made it back to the cry room. As I stood there holding two upset babies, I thought about how it seems every feast of Mary becomes something of a mothering struggle for me.
Then it dawned on me, as I stood there....it just didn't matter what everyone thought of me and my children. I was doing my best, they were doing their best, we were at mass to honor Theotokos. I knew SHE would understand my plight, so right then, as I stood rocking two babies from side to side, wondering if I should have just stayed home and tried to sneak out without them to a different mass, I decided all I could do was offer it up.
This WAS what my best looked like today. I had tried, even triple-checking to make sure I would be at mass on time. I had prepared everything I could, the rest was really not in my control. Mass started 15 minutes before I thought it would, the babies were cranky even with new interesting toys and a snack, I had done everything I was supposed to, and it still wasn't going well. So, I gave it up. I offered my embarrassment at walking in late, the frustration over cranky babies, all of it. And as I stood there, I felt peace and grace flowing back in. Yes, this was my best, and that's what God is calling us to, our best. Sometimes it's just not pretty, but that doesn't mean I turn around and stop trying. Try again, use what you learn and do your best again. This age and stage is just a season and soon babies will be grown. But, for now, I'm hoping the speakers are working in the cry room this weekend because hubby is out of town and I'm going to be showing the world what my best looks like yet again.