My boy has been a bit mulish about this whole going-to-church thing. Takes after his mother, he does.
I was about his age when my parents decided that going to church would be a good thing for us. Previous to that, my main experience with church was occasionally going to the Christian Scientist Church with my grandmother on the weekends I spent the night at her house. I wasn't impressed (but they did have very cool Sunday School building with clerestory windows - didn't know what they were then). So when my folks said we were going, I planted my feet, crossed my arms and said no way! You know what happened. I went. I wasn't happy about it, but I went. I scowled in the pew, much like my son did on our first forays on Sunday mornings.
Then they wanted me to do confirmation classes and attend the EYC (Episcopal Youth Community) meetings. THAT was going too far! Our Assistant Rector went around the confirmation class asking why each of us was there. When he got to me, I glared at him from under my bangs and said "Because my mother made me." Obviously, Fr. Scruggs had his work cut out for him.
My extreme reluctance (born mostly of being painfully shy) waned in fairly short order though. I made friends; I learned how to acolyte; I learned how to play the guitar and sing at our casual services. I had little crushes on several guys in the church over time and began to thoroughly enjoy myself at church when I couldn't seem to fit in at school.
Yes. My boy takes after me.
Today, when I picked him up from school, I announced that we would be going to church tonight and he would go to his first EYC meeting. His response was to glower and sigh, "Oh, MOM! Do I have to?"
We arrived at 6pm and one of the people in the parish hall took us to where the EYC met. The Boy dragged his feet, but came along. In the EYC room, there were about six middle-school girls hanging out. I whispered "Good luck" and headed back to the parish hall to help set up for dinner since the Evening Prayer service was already underway by the time I got the Boy settled. (Note: every Wednesday, they have a dinner after Evening Prayer and it is excellent!!! It's also a little more intimate than the after service refreshment crush - you actually have a chance to talk to people).
I heard them coming. Dinner was about to be served when the thundering herd of middle-schoolers came into the parish hall. The Boy was last and as I caught his eye, he gave me a big grin and a thumbs up as he followed the rest of the kids to the back of the line. I got in line behind him and whispered, "How was it?" I thought his smile might be about to crack his face open... "It was AWESOME! I want to come every Wednesday!"
Who was that kid? And what did he do with my son?
It didn't take him as long as it took me, but I can see that this might be a VERY good thing for him. Thank God.