Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Frankie at church

That one time Frankie matched his dad at Mass
Frankie's first time going to church was when he was 8 days old—on Mother's Day, coincidentally. We went to the church where Frank and I were married. Little man nursed for the first half of Mass, then slept in his grandfather's arms for the second half, after which my dad paraded him around the church to show to all my parents' friends. It was darling.

He was really easy to take to church for the first few months, since he pretty much slept or nursed the whole time. But around 3 months, when he began taking an active interest in the outside world, things got a little complicated.

 You see, Frankie loves church. LOVES. We attend a beautiful old parish on Chicago's South Side, and there is all this colorful stained glass for him to stare at! All this gorgeous organ music to listen to! All these friendly people to smile at! It's a sensory feast for the little man. He particularly loves the organ since Frank played a lot of sacred music for him before he was born.

On the other hand, there's all this stained glass that he can't tear his eyes away from! All this organ music that's so loud! All these people looking at him! It's sensory overload for the little man. About halfway through, he starts to get overwhelmed and switches over from "I'm in my happy place" to "I can't handle another minute!" That's when I take him out to the back of the church, where, if I'm lucky, I can hand him off to a lady who went to an earlier Mass and will happily hold him until Mass is over. If I'm not lucky and she's not there that day, I spend the homily chillin' in the vestibule. Sometimes our friends sit behind us and make faces at Frankie to get him to laugh, and that can stave off the grumpies too.

Sophie the giraffe is the other love of his life besides the organ
On top of that, recently Frankie has discovered that he loves to sing. It astonishes him that he can make sounds out of his own little mouth, and all day long, we hear him going "Ahhhhhhhhhhhh" at a high pitch, holding the note for as long as he can. This is incredibly cute when we are, say, at the grocery store, and you can hear his little voice trailing "Ahhhhhhhhhhh" down every aisle. He really, really loves that. But it's a bit more difficult (though still cute) when we are at Mass, and the entire church is silent for the Eucharistic Prayer, and Frankie notices that the priest is singing and what better time to sing than when you can sing with somebody else? So off he goes "Ahhhhhhhhh"-ing away, with the occasional pterodactyl screech thrown in for good measure. It cracks Frank and me up, hearing him sing with the priest like that. But I'm not quite sure it's so cute to everyone else, so we shush him as best we can. (In general, though, his love for singing is one of the cutest things he does. He will even sing with me, or take turns singing back and forth!)

We told our pastor (a good friend of ours) about how Frankie loves to sing in Mass, and of his deep and abiding love for the organ music and the stained glass.

"Well, maybe he needs to try on my hat instead of that one he's got on," Father said.

I don't know ... his new look? Maybe? Someday?


  1. We are at the same place with Clare. She used to just sleep through Mass, but in the past two months, she's decided she would rather try to crawl to the back of the church under all the pews. I usually end up having to take her out after the homily because she just can't be convinced to sit "still" any longer. I'm looking forward to her being a little bit older when I can start bribing the goodness like her brother ;-) (Gotta do what ya gotta do)