I know it's kind of cliche, but my kids teach me something every day. Most of the time it's something cute, like, "Stop doing the dishes, mom, and come play chase!" (Well, okay, they don't actually say that yet, but that's what they're thinking with their mischievous baby blues.)
Lately, The Toddler, as we have lovingly taken to calling him, has had a profound, um...obsession, with the Mass. And I do mean obsession. I know kids "play Mass" all the time...or at least this is what I've been told. The Toddler takes it to a whole new level.
It is a regular event at our house for him to have a long, somewhat cross-shaped object hoisted over his head, blaring out the tune of "Alleluia"...or "Aw-we-woo-ja" (and usually with decent rhythm and intonation, making mommy proud). Everything in our house has been used as the Processional Cross at least once. I won't go into the time he found an unsuspecting hammer laying around...
Anyway, it is now also a daily ritual for him to set the coffee table like an altar. He asks me for what sounds like waffles. He actually means Gospels (took me about 15 minutes worth of guessing on that one...). He takes any candle he can get his mitts on and carefully places it on the table. He uses his rainbow-colored stacking cups (you know the ones) to distribute the "Bohy of Chis" and "Blud Chis"...and if you don't bow and say "Amen", he will stand there and politely remind you. Tonight, we're pretty sure he was saying a Eucharistic Prayer...in Latin. Anything that swings on a handle is fair game for incense...lanterns, small tin pails, you name it. I could go on, but you get the idea.
It never ceases to amaze me the number of times during the day he is able to find something that resembles a cross. (The Processional Cross might be his most favorite thing in the world. He cried on Good Friday when we wouldn't let him play with it as the server walked past our pew. Literally cried. Sean had to take him in the back he was making such a scene.) Here is the running list from what I can remember off the top of my head: tile grout in the shower, interlocking grid of metal on the shopping cart, any type of fleur de lis, the broom and mop, PVC pipes with which we tried (and failed) to make a tent, the wainscotting on the doors, the Eiffel Tower lamp...any lamp for that matter, a light post, a pinwheel, a street sign...the list is truly endless.
Through all of his play acting, I have truly learned some very profound lessons. First, even though he may not fully understand it, his faith permeates his entire day. Jesus is always in the forefront of his mind. Faith like a child...truly beautiful. He also is never afraid to share his joy with...anyone. Punk rocker teenagers at the mall, Target employees, the pediatrician...he is unashamed to sing "Alleluia Jesus" to anyone that will listen. I envy his abandon and passion. Even though he has no idea that most people listening probably think he's been brainwashed or that we spend every waking hour in some crazy church, he is our Little Evangelist. And he inspires me every day to find God in the most unlikely of places...like the shower tiles.