“Mom, It’s In His Nose!” Episode 4

We were sitting in church as the pastor was speaking a sermon about diligence. The congregation was fairly quiet aside from the typical “Amen’s” and “Thank-you Jesus’”. My kids were squirmy as usual. My face was its typical shade of crimson, from the embarrassment of my kids not wanting to sit still and behave.
I belong to an African American church. As the only Caucasian member, I had to learn the hard way that church nurseries are far more appreciating than I had ever realized. Many African American churches believe young children belong in the sanctuary in order to learn how to worship and praise God. They say it takes a village to raise a child, but with my children it seems to take an entire community, city, state, and even the whole mid west. Since we are considering it, I might as well include the nation. My kids, if you haven’t realized by now, are busy.
My husband plays the organ for the church choir. It can be a blessing to be married to a musician but when it comes to Sunday afternoons, it can also be a curse. My three children were fighting and arguing, especially the two younger ones; when I watched my middle daughter push my son out in the middle of the aisle. The ushers came and grabbed my son and scolded the kids for how they were acting. I didn’t think my face could get any more red, so instead it chose a pretty shade of purple.
I lectured the kids on how they are supposed to act in church and I threatened to force them to sit with the quiet old man who was sitting two rows up. For whatever reason, my kids are terrified of that man, and I think I only add to their fear by exaggeratingly stating that my kids would much rather sit with me over him.
After threatening them with the old man, my kids straightened up immediately. I was craving the endorphins that only dark chocolate can give when I hear giggling in the back row. I was only three rows from the back, so I had a hunch the giggling had something to do with my children. I refused to look, since they were being so quiet. I didn’t want to ruin things. Whatever the problem was, I was hoping to ignore it and let it go away.
The giggling continued when out of nowhere my oldest, usually well behaved, child screamed. “Gross! Mom it’s in his nose!”
I looked at my daughter and glanced at my son who was standing in the pew straight and nice. Looked back at my daughter confused more than ever and said, “What is?”
She was obviously perturbed. “His finger. He’s picking his nose and wiping it on the pew!” I think the whole church turned around, just as my son shoved his finger entirely in his nose and aggressively put his finger in his mouth. I was so embarrassed I thought I was going to pass out. My son was laughing, the ushers were laughing, and my daughters were screaming and grossed out. For a split second I cursed the nose that God had given my son, and then the laughter hit…

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