Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Teens!

My Sunday almost always starts the same way, with me getting totally aggravated with THE CHILDREN. The teenagers are the worst. You would think I was asking them to give up their cell phone for a month when I ask them to wear a dress shirt and nice pants to church.

What kills me is how they act each week like this is something I have just started in our family. Every week when I tell my oldest son that his Sabres tee shirt is not appropriate, and no, his tee shirt with The Office logo won't do either, ("but it doesn't have any stains on it mom!"), every week, he acts like I have never said this to him before. And then he acts like I am asking for something so unbelievably preposterous, why would I even have the nerve to tell him to do such a thing?!

Then I get so angry, I just start muttering to myself and stomping around. On Sunday. By the time I get to church, I feel like I should pull our priest over for confession. I feel just awful. Then I have to watch children fidget, and widget and winken, blinken and nod. The teens slump over like juvenile delinquents in front of the principal's office. One week I did the mom glance over my row, and I was so appalled at the older children's slumped shoulders, nail picking, and general horrid attitudes, I could feel my cheeks red with embarrassment. I realized that this is what Father sees as he is doing his homily. We sit in the front row.

Please, someone tell me that their children do the same. I thought things were bad when they were all little and I had to strain to hear the homily from the back of the church where I was chasing a running toddler. No, this is worse. I say to myself, "where were these children brought up? Who raised these kids? Were they not paying attention? Didn't they get the memo that we are a very Catholic family and we need to look pious at Mass?"

Instead, I get the slumped over, "my parents made me come today but they can't make me say the Our Father blues."

It's hard work getting children to heaven. I think parents with large families should get extra credit. We have more kids to worry about, pray about, get angry about........

So please, please, if you have teens like this, tell me about it. If you were one of these teens once who drove your parents crazy and now you are uber Catholic, even better. Share, share away.

There are only six more days until next Sunday and I need all the help I can get!


  1. LOL Shirt with the Office logo LOL

    I feel for you but with the foreknowledge that it's coming for me too. Both my daughters were very well-behaved, always got the compliments and the "how do you manage to keep them so good?" As my oldest starts coming into her own though, still only eight, she's already doing the same thing you just wrote about.

    As far as me and my brothers and sisters at church when we were young, let's just say that it was easy to learn to never ever ever cross dad... in church, in the station wagon... anywhere... ever... (shudder)

  2. He has three shirts with The Office logo. That is Tyler's kind of humor. Dave is going to have to practice the dad stare down. Usually he is too busy giving looks to our altar boys, so I have to handle the ones in the pew. And they, as my hubby likes to point out to me, ain't afraid of me.

  3. The altar boys...I especially enjoy looking at their tonsils and adenoids when they yawn several times during Mass. Thank God they are children. Adults would be struck down immediately.

  4. Oh... I think I was like that when I was younger. Granted, I wasn't Catholic when I was younger, but we went to Lutheran church each and every Sunday and the service is much the same as Catholic Mass.

    You know, it wasn't until I took an active part in my faith that I gained an appreciation for it. I think that comes with age for most. For some it happens sooner than others. And probably for some it never comes no matter how they were raised. All you can do is foster that love for their faith in them, and try and guide them. You can't force them, but once they do decide that their faith is an integral part of their life, they're not fidgeting during Mass and things.

    So, hang in there!

  5. You are not alone!!!! When I read your first paragraph about how every week it's as if you were telling them for the first time that they needed to dress nice, I had to smile! I'm there every Sunday! My two oldest sons don't complain, really, I'm blessed as they are very docile about following rules, but my middle son! He wears me out with his complaining, and he just turned 13! The years ahead are looming looooooog! With him, he cries because we won't let him wear shorts. It could be 40 degrees outside and we hear "But it's so hot! All the other kids wear whatever they want to church! (Thanks all you other parents who allow your kids to wear shorts to church, and jeans, and highlight your son's long hair...)

    We are up against a lot aren't we? I do my best to try to see the good in my children. And I know that I was a horrendous teenager myself, really gave my parents grief. I was the youngest of nine, not the worst of the lot but I was up there in the rivalry for worst behaved kid in my family. Somehow, it all has to sink in and one day we will look at them with joy. But in the meantime, lots of prayer will carry us through! God bless you and take heart!

  6. Praised be Jesus Christ!
    Now and forever!

    I was reading your post and I was nodding my head and saying.. this sounds a lot like what happens around here on Sunday morning.
    I direct the choir at the 10 am Mass and it is important for me to be on time,and
    I like to be on time..
    Because it is the Mass, but it seems every Sunday that I am breaking the speed limit to drive to Mass,
    In fact once, I got Pulled over on the 33 and got a speeding ticket ..and
    of course the officer said'
    "Where are you in such a hurry to get to?"
    and I had to Say "Mass"
    My children , smirking and rolling their eyes in the backseat,
    I could see it,
    and they like to remind me..
    a hundred dollar fine and
    driving classes,
    and I still have a hard time getting them out of the house on time...
    I insist on no shorts,

    I have to say, that it is tough when half the parish lets their kids wear anything that they rolled out of bed in to Mass and my goodness,
    don't I look like a heel.?.
    Jesus didn't say it was going to be easy.
    If it was easy, everybody would be doing it.
    Jesus Said..
    "Take up your cross and follow me"
    I wanted the Styrofoam model with the wheels,
    but I didn't get that one..
    Oh well..
    I thank God that I can go to Mass,
    without danger to my life,
    without having to go to an underground church in China,
    or no church in Saudi Arabia or other countries with Sharia Law,,
    it is a grace,,
    and I keep telling my kids..
    The Mass is the most powerful action on the face of the earth..
    Go for it..

    Go every day..
    and Like it,
    or not,
    We are going..

    I will see you there!

  7. This is the first time I've read your blog. I love this post, very funny, and oh so true! I don't have teenagers but I do have 4 kids under 6. They still love going to church, but I know what I have to look forward to and even though they love going to church we still have struggles every Sunday morning. Bickering and fighting mostly. For sure we need confession, if not before mass starts then for sure by the time it is over! And I have often wondered what good does it do for us to go when we can't pay attention to the mass half the time, when we are also distracting all the people around us, when we are so frustrated by the end... But then I remember that we are starting to instil a deep love of God and our faith in our children and that we are witnessing to the joys (I hope) of parenthood and large families (is 4 kids large?). Thank you for the smile your post put on my face today!