Monday, July 24, 2006

another polkadots service

My three-year-old son heard us using the word "Orthodox" and found a match for it in his mental lexicon--"polkadots." So I guess now the "quiet church" is going to be the "polkadots church." I asked if he wanted to become "polkadots," and he answered, "No, I'm Ian." I guess that settles that question.

Anyway, we had a chance yesterday to visit the "quiet church" (vs. the "train church," since the Evangelical church we attend has a train table for the kids to play with when they're not in class; but that might get complicated, now that he knows he can sit on the hill next to the "quiet church" and watch the light-rail train go by). It's not, by the way, that the Orthodox church is any quieter than the Evangelical. (Perhaps it is--there are no drums, at least.) It's that he goes into the service with me at the Orthodox service, instead of his own kids' class, and he has to be quiet. My wife spent the day with some friends. The instigator was the youth pastor's wife from our Evangelical church, whose husband is with several of the teens on a short-term mission trip, and kids are with Grandma and Grandpa for a while. She decided to orchestrate a sleep-over Saturday night and some follow-up activities during the day on Sunday. Since my wife was going to church with her anyway, and Ian and I would be on our own, I took the rare opportunity to visit a Sunday DL. I think this was the first time Ian attended one from start to finish (if you don't count one potty break), plus about a half-hour of Orthros.

It was also a rare opportunity to hang around afterward without any time constraints except that we had to be home by 2:00 for nap time. Normally, I feel like I need to rush home after a service, so I can see my family. It worked out well, since Ian noticed the "craymound" (his word for "playground") out the window while we were eating. I figured after enduring such a long service, he deserved something in return, so I let him do his thing until he was the only kid left. He didn't mind even then. The hope of seeing another train go by was enough for him. But the other kids were great. The older kids pushed him on the swing and talked to him. He seemed to have a great time. He also got into a pointing war with a girl in front of us during the service, but at least they were quiet about it. I guess her parents weren't too upset. They invited us to sit with them at lunch, where I somehow got dragged into a discussion about Middle East politics. I'll have to try to apologize when I see them again. Fortunately, Ian's insistence about the "craymound" gave me a good excuse to exit the conversation. Once he got comfortable enough that I could give him more space, I had a good talk with another parishoner about various aspects of my situation.

Incidentally, I think this is probably the first time I've mentioned Ian by name. I don't personally view it as a new revelation, since "abuian" (see my username) means "Ian's dad," but I suppose not everyone would have picked up on that.

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