So after I saw Noble and laughed for a minute thoughts began racing through my mind. What are we going to do? I asked Jon. His very predictable response was, "He is 2! Who cares what he wears. Let's go!"
Now part of me agreed with Jonathan. It was more important to be THERE than to be appropriately dressed. But there was that other prideful part of me that I try not to listen to telling me how mortified I would feel walking in with my 2 year old in camo pjs. Mother of the Year here remember??? Awesome.
But it was 11:01 when we arrived. By now probably 11:03. Church starts at 11 prompt. Even though home is only a 3 minute drive there is still the unbuckling and finding the clothes and getting them on a very tired little boy. (Daylight savings time was that morning and his normal nap starts at 11 and so it was like noon to him.) Oh and there would be finding socks in the sock bin too.
We are usually done with the sacrament by 20 after. I knew if I turned right around I would miss the sacrament. That is just not something I wanted to do. You see when I was 17 I lived in a small town in Spain as a foreign exchange student. I didn't get to go to church for about 2 months. The closest church was like 30 miles away and my host family didn't see a need to drive me to church.
I really missed having the opportunity to renew my baptismal covenants each week. I felt that loss more keenly than I can possibly convey with words. While there I made a personal and solemn promise to my Heavenly Father that I would never again miss taking the sacrament if I could help it. I just would not take for granted the blessing it is to be so close and have that opportunity to be clean again each week.
In the 19 years since then I have only once missed taking the sacrament for reasons other than normal legitimate things like sickness or new baby or sick kid. It was when I was in college. I just was tired and I slept through it. I felt so bad. I knew better. Really, I felt as bad as if I had committed some major sin. I repented of that mistake and doubly vowed it would never happen again.
So with that background, I was not about to miss taking the sacrament because of my pride about what my kid was or wasn't wearing. And sending Jon home... that wouldn't not have happened. (I think he secretly wishes he could get away with wearing Camo PJs to church.)
So I swallowed my pride and began searching the car for lost shoes. It is not uncommon to find random lost shoes in my car. I managed to find a pair of Noble's old Croc's in the back row. Score!
I got Noble out and as we entered the church building with everyone all dressed up my embarrassment creeped up on me. So I picked Noble up and wrapped my coat around him to hide his PJs and we walked into sacrament meeting. (They had just finished the opening prayer and were starting the sacrament hymn.)
Luckily no one gasped or even gave me a surprised or funny look as Noble settled into our pew. I was a little surprised by that. I expected a few giggles. But our ward is awesome and not judgmental.
As we got through the sacrament hymn I found Noble being a bit harder to keep reverent than normal. Part of that was likely the time change and no nap. But I do think kids act better when they are dressed up. So I pulled out the new Friend magazine I brought to entertain Noble and sat him on my lap to look for Jesus in it.
One of the first articles we turned to caught my eye. It was all about a boy who was having a hard time being reverent until he got a new church shirt that looked like his dad's and then his "reverent" shirt helped him to be reverent in church just like dad. I read part of this to Noble and pointed out how all the men had ties on and white shirts.
Noble was telling me the colors of all the ties he saw. I asked him if he wanted to go home and get his tie on. He said he did. So as soon as the sacrament was over, he and I left Jonathan with the baby and the girls and went to go get his church clothes. He was excited to get his church pants and shirt and tie and shoes.
It took us about 20 minutes round trip. I was sad to miss some of the testimonies. There was a really good spirit in the meeting when we returned and I would like to have heard some of the other testimonies referenced. I am not sure whether it was more important to stay and be spiritual fed or take Noble home and teach him about how are clothes show our respect and help remind us to be reverent. But I ended up going with plan B.
I did get a really good laugh out of the experience and I will definitely be more careful to make sure EVERYONE is getting or being gotten ready from now on. :)
And my gratitude thought -- I am grateful to live 3 minutes from a church where I can go on Sunday and renew my baptismal covenants and once again be made clean and recommit to live the Lord's commandments and remember my Savior. That really is huge and I feel incredibly blessed in that way.