Just rambling thoughts about anything that happens to be on my mind and that usually isn't much!
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Saturday, November 22, 2008

Restless Natives

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



Jenni said...

Hee hee. Good one!

It has always been hard for me to hear and to focus on one thing when there is a lot of other stuff going on around me. I do think it's important for children to sit through services with their parents at least part of the time. It's how they learn what behavior is expected, how to listen, and how to focus and not be distracted. They need to see by example. And me? Well, I need to work on that focus thing. Squirming children don't bother me so much anyway--now that it's no longer my own children causing the ruckus. It always bothers the parents the most. You're always sure all eyes and ears are on you and your kids. If all eyes, ears, and hearts are where they should be, a little wiggling and noise isn't going to keep others from hearing the message, give or take a few words here and there.

crabby old man said...

KsCowboy I loved it.

The Ponderer said...

What was the sermon about that you were so interested in? LOL

Reminds me of the story of a child who was causing disturbance noise in church to the point dad got up to take him out for further discipline.

As he was being dragged up the isle he would reach out to people and ask for their help which only caused the dad further embaressment.

Just as they got to the back of the church he yelled out, "Well at least somebody pray for me!"

Kellygirl said...

that's good. I have to relocate many people who don't want to sit next to children who make sounds. For real. I just want to ask if they are related to Satan. "Jesus loves the little children"..... great song to hum past sister so and so.

Janie said...

Loved the story!

In_spired said...

which reminds me of a "restless native" story of several years ago. We were in church and a young man (old enough to know better) was doing most of what you described in your post. His dad got frustrated, picked the kid up and was carrying him outside. At the top of his lungs the boy screamed...."Daddy, pul-eeeze don't beat me!! Pul-eeeze don't beat me!!" Well...forget the sermon. Everyone was rolling in the aisles laughing!

Great post, Cowboy. and...Happy Thanksgiving!!

Gaye said...

A church with no young children is a dying church. I was told by an older lady in our church when my son was young and even little noises worried me, that they didn't mind nearly as much as I did. Now my kids are older and I'm the one who enjoys the sound of children!