This morning was my first Mass in two weeks due to having to stay home with sick preschoolers and if you took a look in our pew after Communion it might have made you ill. Not anything viral, mind you, but a sickingly sweet scene. Mary, Maggie, and Charlie were all hugging onto me like they were drowning men and I was the life raft. I guess they all needed a hug and our secret handsqueeze-3 squeezes means "I love you" and 4 squeezes back means "I love you too" or "I love you more". Sometimes Will and I turn it into a silent contest of 20-30 squeezes in a row to show how much we love each other. However, Will was serving today so I had to be content with giving him a sly wink when he looked my way.
Charlie is still recovering from a week-long bug so he sat on my lap for most of Mass. His favorite activity is to slowly turn the pages of the Ecclesia Dei Latin-English Missal and point to the pictures, whispering "Father Willis, Will" when he sees a line drawing of a priest and altar server in the margin. It always cracks me up to watch him point to a picture of a trim young priest sporting a 1950's haircut and hear him say the name of our portly, balding, middle-age resident priest. (God bless you Father, if you are reading this!) After all the pictures in the Missel are described we switch over to my favorite Mass "toy," a stack of laminated holy cards that I punched a hole in and put on a metal ring. "That is St. Peter, see the keys," "Here is the Holy Family, Jesus, Mary, and St. Joseph, can you see the statue of St. Joseph holding baby Jesus up front?" as we flip through the stack.
I am so grateful to God that we have this passel of children in our pew on Sunday morning, that we have a local Latin Mass with wonderful CCD teachers and a truly terrific priest, and lots of other homeschooling moms to chat with and lean on during the tough times. I will miss our little chapel so much when we move and I pray every night that God will grant us a Latin Mass parish in Maine. The beauty and mystery of the Tridentine Rite connects me in a way to the Saints of the past and the Church of all time. If you have never attended and have the opportunity to participate, do so. It takes a bit of work to follow along, but well worth the effort.