This past Sunday we did not attend the TLM in Lewiston, but instead went to the NO Mass in Bangor. While Tim was heading up to pick up Will from his campout at Acadia, I took the remaining 5 children to the 10:30 service. I forgot that they had changed the time and arrived 20 minutes early and snagged one of the back pews. While the children behave better when sitting up front, I choose to sit in back so I can be sure to receive Communion from the priest and am able to "switch sides" to make that happen. But in the last 5 minutes before Mass began we first made room for an older lady on one side and then a couple squeezed in on the other side while I wasn't paying attention. Then Charlie announced he had to go potty and in the period of his absence the first woman scooted over to make room for 2 more people. So, what started out as spacious accommodations, turned into our large party of 6 being smushed into a space that could really only accommodate 3. As I was getting my tights snagged by the toddler's velcro shoes and listening to children complaining about being elbowed by their siblings, I uncharitably told them to elbow their adult neighbor instead.
What were these people thinking? Why would you deliberately box in a family with lots of little children that need room to breathe and access to the aisle? All this relates to Father Z's blog post about obnoxious ushers and the comments by perfect parents with children who never utter a peep inside the sanctuary for fear of being beaten. I'll refrain from commenting there, but I wanted to share with the childless adults who attend Mass: you reap what you sow, if you smush my 2 and 5 year old children who just want a little room so they can color their Catholic coloring books you deserve the glares and elbows that will inevitably come your way. Yes, I will pray for you, but it will be likely, "Dear Lord, please induce this person to sit somewhere else next Sunday."