Thursday, September 13, 2012

It's the Little Things

You can thank that little cool snap in the air for keeping me away from blogging. That hint of crispness that makes everyone all moon-eyed over autumn leaves and apple desserts? It terrifies those of us with home improvement efforts underway. It's like receiving a warning notice tacked to your door that tells you the end is near, and pack it up before things get really cold. While everyone else is thinking pumpkins and mums, we're watching the clock.

As you know, I've been fairly open about the struggles of having a fussy baby. But I'm not too sure I have shared some of the triumphs. They do happen, and when they occur you breathe a prayer of thanks and slide down the rainbow singing the praises of another milestone reached. It's like getting a coupon doubled on a clearance item. You want to tell people about it, but you don't want them to think you're some nut who gets ecstatic over something so menial. Something that other babies seem to do naturally, effortlessly.

Since Duckling joined us, church has become an exercise on par with an event of Olympic proportions, a constantly failing game of part chance, part skill, with a whole lot of crying. Things were so bad that I often couldn't go to church, or would only go if it was an easy service with no potluck, special programs, or anything else that would make the church service one minute longer than it had to be for the sake of my little screamer.

If you don't get them to sit still in church by the age of two, they'll never sit still. 
                                                                 -oft repeated lyrics to a song of sorts that I grew up hearing.

We cautiously persevered, as months wore on monitoring signs of maturity and changes in behavior. Finally, one recent Sunday, we experienced victory. We arrived before the service, and for once the inquisitive faces appearing before us seeking a peek of the baby did not cause a storm. The clouds parted and no thunder crashed during the singing. And while there was one trip to the nursery during the sermon, there was no massive protest of unknown origin. My baby was doing it. He was sitting through church. I knew we were in the clear when I heard him vocalizing along to the final song, Oh! To Be Like Thee.

Three days later, I got word that my friend's mother died suddenly, and I would need to haul the Duckling solo to what was bound to be a large and long funeral service. Dare I wish for a repeat performance? 

As I stood in line to enter the church, all I could think was Oh please let the usher seat us in the back near the door. Then he escorted us to a conspicuous outpost which was like being seated in the balcony at a stadium. A few other babies soon followed, and pretty soon the babies were all staring at one another trying to communicate in baby talk, and we were all very far from the nursery. One woman clamped her hand over her baby's mouth, but I couldn't do that. After the initial singing, I headed for the nursery.

Yet again, there was a moment of grace and it happened during the singing. As hundreds of people raised their voices song, so did Duckling, with one long harmonizing note. Not loud, or disruptive, or perfect. Just a sweet low key attempt at making a joyful noise. I had to smile as I drove home and passed this sign...

Because sometimes, it really is the little things.


  1. That is a GOOD TRIUMPH! Celebrate those milestones... each one of you deserve that.. Maybe music is speaking to his soul.. I cant wait to read more happy posts like these :) Hugs sister!

  2. Such a sweet story...brought back memories of days when my kiddos were babes,and taking them to church.The little country church I attended back then did not have a nursery. We did have to take them outside a few times to settle them down,or even to have a little talk when they were just a bit older. Eventually they seen to know what we were there for,and they too would try their little voices at singing or giving a praise of Amen when others would :) Sorry for the loss of your friends mother...I pray peace and comfort for her family....blessings

  3. That is just wayyyy too cute!! Believe me when I say, I understand celebrating small victories. It's like a wonderfully cold glass of water on an otherwise parched day. When my "cryer" got a bit older and we were at church, she was playing on the kneelers and I went to get her arm to scoot her next to me (as every mother has done in the history of motherdom) and she very LOUDLY said, "Owww, you're hurting me!" That was special. Her crying was over though!

    Keep cranking away at the casa ~ soon you'll be sitting in the finished product with a happily singing boy. Remind me to buy him a drum set. :)

  4. Awwww! I would LOVE to hear his precious little voice singing in the congregation! That's all he needed - a chance to sing! What a good boy he was for Mommy!

    (One of mine used to belch like a man in church. And I had to burp her after every 1/2 ounce of milk, or she would barf it all up and have to start all over again. You canNOT believe the evil-eyed looks that can be thrown by a church congregation who thinks a man in the back is just open-mouth belching every 5 minutes - even during the silent prayer! And when they'd glare and we'd point to the baby, the looks were nearly satanic! They didn't believe it for a minute, particularly since she was only weeks old. At least she wasn't projectile pew-spewing. Thank goodness we were only in that church her first 3 months - it was on a military post - before we got to leave town with our tarnished reputations.)

    1. Oh no, BAT Mom, I'm so sorry! You'll be happy to hear that there isn't too much a baby can do wrong in church these days when compared to people who forget to tun off their phones during worship. Our baby could burp like a man too, so if no one else believed you, rest assure that I do.

  5. Don't you love the encouragements the Lord gives us on life's journey?! No encouragement is too big or too small......each one is a reminder that our Heavenly Father knows just what we need and when we need it. The encouragements can come from His Word, other people or from a precious little Duckling!! :)

  6. Love small victories and the sweetest sound is a child singing in church. Of our four, one is "too shy" but she sneaks singing and the boy is usually too grumpy. But the younger two join in when they can and the both have beautiful voices. I'm so proud of them when they make that choice, because after all we can't force them to sing, can we? ;-) None of them sit still, really, and the boy chooses to stand. But that's a-ok with me as long as I can hear them sing.

  7. Replies
    1. I'm still here! :) Remodeling our own small kitchen right now, so no projects on the horizon. Good to hear from you.

  8. Welcome to Fall Monica! Richard from Amish Stories

  9. Love this! I think when I see him next time, he will not put up a fight because I will sing my greeting to him!


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