Sunday, January 09, 2005

Lead us not into temptation 

I didn't mean to do it, honestly. I truly intended to simply attend church without incident. But as I was walking from the car, with the fresh snow on the road, I just couldn't resist gathering up a handful and tossing it towards my children. I purposefully lobbed it over their heads, so as not to dampen their Sunday best. But alas, that one indulgance led to my downfall. Seattle gets snow so infrequently, and this morning's snowfall was just perfect packing snow. I couldn't resist the second snowball, also lobbed over their heads. Unfortunately, Mo and Laurie's family had also just arrived at church. While my children dutifully went into church, they followed me down the road to perdition and started lobbing snow. At me. (I do make a rather good target, I must admit.) I think there was at least a half second when I considered following my children into the church, but then the battle was joined, though I contented myself with dodging snowballs and tossing far misses of my own. A minute later, Bunnah and Poodlepums (who can now toodle on the tin whistle) had joined the melee. The skirmish lasted for about ten minutes and then, as the Chinese service started, I was able to herd the younguns upstairs to the Sunday School rooms.

After class, Mo and Laurie, who's mom and grandma attend the Chinese service, headed back outside. Poodles and Bunnah went in to the English service. I stood in the church entrance on usher duty, inspiring der kinder to pelt the door with snowballs. It seemed safe enough to me, so I allowed them their fun, piously sticking out my tounge in thanksgiving for the sturdy plexiglass windows. Unfortunately, one of the other members arrived at church and showed concern for the snow accumulating in front of the doorway. As a midwesterner, the thought never occurred to me that such a small amount could be dangerous. Even afer she pointed it out, I can't see how such a small amount could be dangerous. Anyway, she cautioned the children against moving the snow towards the door, but they had long since succumbed to a berserker snowball rage and didn't listen to her. In the interest of peace and harmony, I ventured outdoors to entice the children away from the door. That lasted a couple of minutes, then I realized that I was ushering and needed to be inside. Since I had suffered a couple of glancing blows, I was brushing off my sweater on my way inside when WHAM! Mo tagged me in the face with a snowball. I didn't think the child had it in her. (The aim, not the desire to pelt me with a snowball.) Since I was headed to the house of the Lord, and had work to do, I forgave her the transgression and turned the other cheek. Of course, I quickly moved the other cheek indoors to safety. Soon afterwards, Mo and Laurie's mother came and fetched them and ended the morning's antics.

I had learned two important lessons: one, that I need to be careful and consider the consequences of my actions, especially in the presence of impressionable young people. And two, Mo is now old enough to play varsity snowball. Next time I'm gonna tag the child.