These children of mine are so adorable and unique. They each have their own distinct way of living their truth that they are the center of everything that matters in the universe. Rules, manners, codes of conduct be darned: they will do what they want, when they want.
My guilty confession is that I actually kind of love the particular variety of self-centered spacey-ness my kids exhibit; I know very well that they are unlikely to remain so freely uninhibited for much longer and once it's gone, it's gone. A mom friend told me that she had noticed this trait in my children even in the relatively short periods of time she has spent with them and she admired their "self-confidence." She was gracious but I secretly suspected that her epiphany moment was when my son marched into her kitchen and demanded hot apple cider "right now."
They don’t have bad manners…they’re just kids being kids. (At least I hope so because my reminders to behave have yet to bear visible fruit.)
At any rate, I sort of prefer it when they drift off into dreamland and forget themselves. I'll choose those moments over some of their ones of hyper-awareness. A conscious grip on their surroundings is often closely accompanied by the desire to Do Something To Put Them Right, which is exactly what the middle child did last Sunday. Her younger brother was running rather than walking back to his seat after having received his Communion line blessing, and clearly someone needed To Put A Stop To It At Once. My daughter chased him down, reached him just in time to prevent him from calmly and inconspicuously sitting back down in the pew; she grabbed him from behind by his neck and gave him a good firm tug. As no less than thirty spectators looked on in horror (okay, some were laughing), he spun around and slammed to the floor with a loud shriek while she stomped over to her spot on the pew and plopped herself down defiantly and crossed her arms. (She felt it was important for me to know, later, that she had been “helping” me.)
So here's my digital note to self: enjoy them while they are still oblivious and clueless. Enjoy the moments of uninhibited and unrestrained “kid-ness,” even--or maybe especially?--during Mass. Like the time two weeks ago week when I looked over at my eldest (age 7) during the Consecration to find that she had rolled both legs of her cotton stretch pants up to above her knee, for maximum dorkiness—I mean, comfort. Or this past Sunday when I glanced her way and noticed that she had very carefully stuffed her dress (red) into her tights (black) and now had a big bulging middle, with skinny black stork legs sticking out underneath.
“What are you doing?” I hissed, and she looked up at me, innocent and with a somewhat confused look. She whispered back: “I’m tucking my dress into my tights.” Ah, yes. So you are.