I confess: I miss the lazy Sunday mornings, the mornings where I could stay in bed, or if not in bed, at least in my pajamas, until almost noon, reading a book while Snags watched cartoons. If we went to church, it was to the last mass of the day, but mostly we didn’t go at all.
Now though, Snags is enrolled in Sunday school. Our neighbor is his teacher. Her son is Snags’ friend. Two more of his friends from first grade are in his Sunday school class as well. He enjoys it, and I’m glad. Some weeks my neighbor drives him to Sunday School and my husband and I pick him up at the end and we all go to Mass together. Other weeks we drop him off ourselves and go to mass while he’s in class. Snags has decided we should alternate this. One week he’ll go to church, the next he won’t. I think he wants to ease back into it.
Most recently, Snags learned how to make the Sign of the Cross. Last Sunday he happily reported: “Mom! I earned a gold star for doing the Sign of the Cross right today! I only had to do it twice to get it right!”
“Wow,” I say in response. “That’s great!” I think back just a few weeks prior to this when he held up both hands and made an X with his forefingers. “Isn’t THIS the Sign of the Cross?” he asked. “No,” I said, “That’s more like the sign against vampires.”
Snags goes on to explain that it was difficult to make the Sign of the Cross in front of his Sunday school class because he was facing the class and because he holds the Wii nunchuck in his left hand… And no, I don’t have any idea what the Wii gaming system has to do with making the sign of the cross. We have Wii Sports and We Ski, Star Wars the Force Unleashed, and Star Wars Legos, the Complete Saga. Nowhere in that mix have I happened upon Wii Catholic Church, the Sign of the Cross (nunchuck required). Go figure.
Next up in Sunday school learning, if you’re in First Grade and want to earn another gold star, is memorizing The Our Father. “We can’t read it,” Snags informs me. “We have to memorize it.” I worry that he’ll mix it up with the rules of Tae Kwan Do he has to memorize. Our Father, Who Art in Heaven, I’ll always finish what I start, sir!”
I didn’t realize that I was supposed to be teaching the rules of Tae Kwan Do to Snags. I’d read them myself, of course, but when I got to number two, “I will always be a good brother or sister, sir!” I put the book away figuring that didn’t apply to Snags, as he’s an only child. A week or two later his instructor corrected me, put it into perspective, and said to think about it in the biblical sense.
Which brings us back to Sunday school. As Snags was going on about having to learn the Our Father, I thought to warn him that the Hail Mary is HAIL Mary, and not Hell Mary, as I once thought. But before I could even form the sentence completely in my head, Snags took another breath and said, “And then we have to learn the Hell Mary!”
“Hail Mary,” I said, trying to suppress a laugh. It’s “Hail Mary.” There isn’t a cuss word in the prayer. Snags started to get upset, he hadn’t meant to say a bad word. I tried to reassure him, told him how I also thought it was Hell Mary when I was a kid, but that it’s not. The apple, they say, doesn’t fall far from the tree. Or is it, Great Minds Think Alike?
I keep meaning to tell my neighbor, the Sunday school teacher, about the Hell Mary. That maybe she ought to explain to the children the difference between Hail and Hell, Fire and Brimstone, whatever. But then her son was playing in my yard the other day, playing with plastic light sabers, fighting a battle against evil. He took the light saber, stuck it between his legs, and deemed it a Weenie Saber.
I’d mention this to my neighbor, but then Snags has been going around and using his favorite tag blanket as a whip. We recently let him watch the first Indiana Jones movie, the one where Indie goes in search of the Ark of the Covenant, the container that held the tablets of stone that the Ten Commandments were written on. Only Snags doesn’t call it the Ark of the Covenant, he calls it the Ten Commandments Box.
I wonder if it’s big enough to hold a Weenie Saber?