I have a couple of stories to share from the Little Man Chronicles. You all get to hear a lot of the random wonderfulness that comes out of his mouth today, but trust me, that awesomeness (and hilarity) didn’t happen overnight.
When I was feeding Baby Girl tiny pieces of bread tonight, I joked with my husband, “Well, if we just had some grape juice, we could give her Communion.” This reminded me of Little Man’s first Holy Communion.
Little Man was about two and a half years old when we started going to our home church again. We had quit going for a year, then went to a Baptist church for a year, but decided to go back to the one we were married in.
Our home church is a Methodist church, which is the most relaxed denomination as far as churches go (from my experience in the South). You aren’t told that you’re going to hell for everything from going to a PG-13 rated movie to having a beer, which is nice. Love the sinner, not the sin mentality, even if they do miss the mark at times when it comes to really embracing Jesus’ teachings.
Anyway, a few months before the little guy turned three, we went to church on a Sunday when Communion was served. I usually tried to make Communion a skip Sunday for us, just because it extended the service by 30-plus minutes. Before you judge me and go “Oh, you’re one of those people who thinks God shouldn’t get more than an hour,” I’m not. But when there is no nursery, that extra bit of time turns into an eternity when you have a squirmy toddler who was often on the verge of a tantrum. So it was better to plan to skip Communion Sundays until he was older.
“I’ll just stay seated when our pew goes up,” I told my husband on the Sunday we were there for Communion. I distinctly remembered being at my grandmother’s church a few times for communion as a kid and was told in no uncertain terms by my grandmother not to touch the bread or juice that was being passed around. “You’re too young to understand what you’re doing,” she told me. So I figured if my 8-year-old self hadn’t been old enough to understand, then my two-and-a-half-year-old son wasn’t old enough either.
“Don’t be silly,” my stepmom said, “bring him up, it’s fine!”
So hubby and I took LM up when it was our turn. I was nervous–would our pastor have an issue with us bringing him up? Would he skip LM, since LM wasn’t old enough to understand anyway? And would LM make a stink if he didn’t get did anything?
It turned out the pastor was quite pleased with LM’s adorable little face. He did the prayer thing and gave LM the bread, which he popped into his mouth, and then the person helping the pastor handed LM a miniature shot glass of grape juice, which LM drank.
“MMM! That was GOOD!” LM exclaimed loudly enough for the whole church to hear. We tried to shush him, but not before he popped out, “Can I have some more?!”
I could have died. The pastor didn’t miss a beat though and handed him a few extra cubes of bread and the person helping gave him more juice.
On the way out of church that day, we spoke to the pastor. The pastor bent down to tell LM “hello” and LM said, “Preacher, I sure do like it when you have snack time!” I thought the pastor was going to fall over laughing.
Just a couple months later, we took LM to a Christmas Eve candlelit service at that church. Since we knew it would be shorter and after supper, we figured LM would do fine. And he did–until we got to the candlelit part outside.
We all lit our candles and stood around the Nativity scene and the preacher asked us to bow our heads in prayer. I was holding LM’s hand and felt him move a little and heard a “whoosh” sound. I opened my eyes to see that my candle was blown out and that LM was about to blow out his dad’s candle–and he did, before I could clap my hand over his mouth.
Sam and I shook our heads “no” at him and the older lady next to us relit our candles. LM leaned over and blew mine out quickly with the skills of a ninja and leaned over towards his dad’s again. Sam jerked his candle back and flung some melted wax on his hand and moaned.
The lady beside us and her (adult) granddaughter started giggling, which set Sam off, who covered his mouth to keep from laughing much. Upon hearing the giggles, LM took that as a sign of encouragement and jerked away to blow out the lady’s candle. The woman had tears in her eyes at this point.
Sam handed me his candle and grabbed LM, who was giggling, but the pastor wrapped up right before he could dart to the car. Sam talked to the pastor on the way out and apologized, but the pastor also thought it was funny.
“He was just blowing out Baby Jesus’ birthday candles,” the pastor said, brushing off Sam’s attempt to apologize. A few others commented on how “precious” it was and how refreshing it was to see a child at the Christmas Eve service.