Sundays are not the easiest days in the Haub household. Doug is up and out the door early to set up and rehearse music with the worship team, and I am left to wrangle the three kids into clothes and shoes and (if we are lucky) brushed hair. I once even used the Teletubbies TV show (which is only on Sunday mornings) to pacify the two big kids while I did their shoes and socks and hair. Yikes!
Our Sunday worship service starts right in the middle of Elijah’s nap, so part of what makes Sunday mornings frustrating is having to wake my sleeping baby, or simply refuse him his nap altogether. And our worship services are far from the twenty-minute sermon variety and so lunchtime for my kids hits about one hour after we arrive. Add to that the fact that once the service is over, Doug is again committed to packing up and relating to his worship team, so I am on my own to herd (literally) three squirrelly, overtired and hungry small ones out the door and back home.
By the time I wheel us around the corner onto Kenwood we are often entering a downward spiral, and just getting everyone up the long flight of stairs, stowing the stroller, and assembling lunch is a feat. I often hear people talk of opting out of the Sunday service component to “church” on philosophical grounds; in my weaker moments I have come close to making the same choice and philosophy has had nothing to do with it! I know that this season of life is short (especially when you have kids as close together as we have!), and that single parents everywhere handle more than this regularly, and that I have a great community that bends over backward to offer us every care and support: but sometimes it is still plain hard.
This past Sunday, I had planned to take the big kids to a neighbor’s birthday party which was scheduled to begin right after church at a park down in Carson. Doug would stay home with Elijah so he could get some homework done (and so Elijah could get some much-needed sleep), and I would take the kids to the party. After the trek home, the frenzied lunch, and printing my directions to the park, I made the mistake of lying down on the futon next to Doug while the kids played. My body ached as it met rest, and my mind flooded with how crazy the afternoon would be dragging my two already exhausted kids to a huge park filled with kids and lots of sugar. The last thing I remotely wanted to do was to move but I knew I needed to rally the troops and get us out the door.
As I lay there with my eyes closed, I said to Doug:
“I feel like Jesus when he was all: ‘Hey, let’s go to Jerusalem.'”