A Two Year Old At A Funeral
Today my dad's side of family gathered to remember my uncle Bart. It was a difficult day for a lot of people. I thought seriously about not writing this post. I thought that writing about my son at the funeral might be a little taboo. But the more I thought about Jax the more I smiled and many of the people that read this blog were probably at that very same funeral and maybe they need to smile too. I also thought about my uncle Bart and thought he would appreciate the antics of an antsy two year old boy in a quiet church.
I knew before I walked into that church today that Jax was going to be a handful. You see, we are Baptists, and Baptists take their antsy kids to the nursery on Sunday mornings so my poor kid has no concept of what it means to sit quietly in a church. I walked into the church this morning, the church that my grandma used to drag me to when I was a kid, and I thought "Oh Lord I'm gonna need the spirit of Lucille Stith to help me control this guy." Jax immediately went to work touching everything in that old wooden pew. Luckily for me my stepmom brought lots of candy for bribery and a marker and paper set. That marker set entertained him for 2.5 seconds. He quickly spotted my sister Gillian up in the front because she was singing and attempted to begin a rousing game of peekaboo. Peekaboo from 20 feet away is not exactly quiet. After Gillian quit playing Peekaboo with him; he discovered that the kneelers were perfect for climbing. I'm sure in his mind this old Catholic Church was way cooler than our church. They had things for climbing right in the pew, books to play with right there in the pew, and it echoed slightly when you jumped up and down. As soon as the music started and everyone stood he took the hymnal and pressed it against my face. He also giggled and said "smash, smash! " Now don't get me wrong, I enjoyed getting my face smashed with a book but it was distracting to those around us. My stepmom took the opportunity to shove a lifesaver in his mouth. That kept him quiet...for a minute. He played around in the pew doing all the things that two year old boys do in church. His body language started to say "stir crazy" so Grammy came to the rescue again. She dug through her big ol' purse and found an ink pen! Jax sat in my lap and decided to use that pen to draw designs on my right hand. He scribbled all sorts of circles and lines until my hand was a true work of art. When he decided that he was done being creative he found a place to put the pen. He stuck his pen and his marker down my shirt. He was being quiet and sort of good so I just sat there with two writing utensils sticking out of my shirt like they were growing out of my cleavage. Soon he retrieved his pen and marker and sat down on the floor in front of our pew and went to work disassembling the pen. Why? I don't know, because that's what boys do. He continued to play while my cousin spoke some very touching words about his father. Like most everyone in that church it brought tears to my eyes. Jax turned to me and noticed I was crying so he sweetly hugged my legs and said "love you momma". I doubt anyone around us even noticed that tender little moment but it meant the world to me. For a few moments he seemed to tone down his shenanigans but only for a few moments. He sat in my lap while my cousin played a song on her violin that was so beautiful it moved everyone. After that Jax went on about his business messing with stuff in the pew, hitting his head multiple times, telling the little boy behind us to "go away" and basically just being a two year old. At some point someone's cell phone rang and Jax put his hand to his ear and answered that pretend phone, "Hello? HELLO?" I saw a smile crack on my dad's tear stained face and I knew that this busy, distracting, crazy little curly haired boy was exactly where he needed to be. His mission for the day was to be a sweet distraction from the sadness and a reminder of some of the sweetest things in life.
In everything in life there is beauty and even in this time of sadness there is something beautiful about a two year being a two year old at a funeral. I'm sure my grandma, my Maddie and my uncle were looking down on that church today with a smile.
*I hope that this particular post makes you smile. I ask that you continue to pray for my Uncle's wife and his children as they have a lot of sorrow filled days ahead. Pray for my Dad and all my aunts and uncles as they have lost a brother. Pray for anyone that knew Bart that they may hold only fond memories in their heart.