The Warden and I are beginning to struggle a little bit with the audiological part of our lives. Understanding what is said is extremely difficult when other noises are happening at the same time, such as talking in a restaurant where nearby tables are also talking. The ability to sort the sounds of speech from all the other sounds is becoming a greater and greater problem, even at church.
A couple weeks ago the Warden and I were particularly interested in a sermon topic and were becoming engrossed in the sermon. About that time off to my right, the disgruntled grunts of a toddler became very evident. The toddler, unable to communicate verbally, was making her wishes known through squirms, squeals and grunts. The young mother struggled desperately to contain the child on her lap. Finally a toy was selected and offered that stilled the child.
Our attention returned to the sermon to hear another verse or two being read.
As the preacher began his commentary on the verses, what had to be a tug of war between a small girl and her not too much older brother was taking place in the pew just in front of us. The action in itself would not have made much fanfare except the young girl decided to ask for help at the top of her voice range. That young mother too, acted quickly "shushing" the child and arbitrating the matter to its eventual end. The arbitration however did not set to well with the older brother who "whispered" (in a voice audible for the dead) his disapproval. This brought a quick "chin grab" by the father who, eyeball to eyeball with the child, settled the matter.
The fervor now complete, we returned to the commentary, another verse selected and the recitation of the verse started.
Off to my right a young man starts pushing a toy tractor along the top of the pew, his lips vibrating the "make-up" noise of a diesel tractor under full throttle and load. Just as the young man was taking another breath and the tractor another make-up gear, the father scooped up the child onto his lap. The action was so quick the child was taken by surprise and the tractor sounds stopped.
We now were able to hear the end of that verses commentary.
The oldest brother of the family on our pew and the oldest sister of the family in front then decided to exchange the books that each were reading. As she turned to give her book backwards, his 7 year old chubby hands failed him and the book tumbled to the floor in a loud thud. All eyes in the auditorium turned on the sound. From each respective pew of the families involved, there was a scurry as the parents shushed the corresponding delinquent.
Our attention then returned to the last lines of the sermon.
As the Warden and I made our way through the exiting parishioners, Sister Straightlace took hold of my elbow. "May I speak with you?" she asked.
As we stepped out of the traffic flow, she stated, "the natives were a bit restless this morning."
"Yes ma'am" I replied with a rather embarrassed smile.
"You do know I am talking of your grandchildren," she further stated. "Something needs to be done. Children need to be taught to sit quietly in church."
Now some may say here "the devil made me do it" ..... but really I think I had some inspirational help.
"Yes ma'am. And I am thankful YOU noticed my grandchildren were in church this morning just as they are at every congregational meeting." Then I looked her in the eye, "May I ask where YOUR grandchildren are?"
PR 17:6 Grandchildren are the crown of old men