Saturday, September 8, 2012

Please excuse the laughter

Last week while my husband was dutifully studying for his finals, I decided to take both the kids to church for a performance the Children's Church Ministry was putting on. It looked cute and we needed to get out of the house anyway.

Overall they enjoyed the show. There were costumes, songs, puppets, dances... what could you not like?

The main message they were bringing across was that you have value and you are worth something. God made YOU and you are special.

The show is winding down and the somber tone has touched the sanctuary while the children hit their points and then do the alter call. Certain children come out and give a short monologue on something that has personally happened -- they were made fun of, people were laughing at them, somebody said something mean, they were overwhelmed, they were embarrassed, they pretended and lied about themselves so others would like them, etc...

To make the point that they felt "broken" each child would throw an egg down on the ground to break it.

And my wonderful son broke into a huge belly laugh in the silent church.

Now, for those who know William, you know he has an amazing laugh. It has been commented on many times. Strangers love it. It is written about in his IEP. It is infectious. You would not think this deep, adorable, and perfect belly laugh is coming from such a little boy!

So yes, the church is completely hushed. The children are coming out to speak and break their egg, and with every egg Will's laugh becomes more obvious. I'm covering his mouth to quiet him. "No Will, this is not funny... it's sad. Those kids are sad! They had their feelings hurt..."

It wasn't working. I begin to sort of shove him farther down behind the pew. Maybe if he doesn't see the eggs being thrown he won't laugh. But he hears them and continues to laugh. People start glancing back at me giving me 'the look'. You know what I'm talking about, 'the look', that how dare my child be laughing at a time like this!

I would have quickly escaped out the back since we were not many pews from there, but Alanna was happily drawing on some paper and I feared if I quickly grabbed her and Will to run out I would get her  smart mouth "No! I ka-war-wing" and it would not be quiet. Possible flailing of arms and legs may ensue.

What is least disruptive?

There were some men sitting nearby, I'm assuming they were dads. They begin to giggle with William. What can I say? His laughter is just that amazing.

I'm whispering apologies, covering his mouth, trying to get him below the pew, and explaining that he's 4 and he doesn't understand. Some sympathetic smiles are given to me from the couple in front of us.

It seemed like those eggs were being thrown forever. I felt like a deer in headlights. I'm sure every person in that place could hear him. And then it was over. William's cheerful laughter died down and the songs began to bring on the alter call. The dads nearby gave the helpful parent encouragement, "it's okay, he's just so young," "It wasn't THAT loud," "His laugh is so cute!" "Don't worry about it, we all understand."

Even though I was embarrassed and appalled at what happened, I truly did see the humor in it. I called my mom and sisters after we left to tell them what I just endured. The tears from laughter were rolling down my cheeks. My belly hurt.

What a joy and gift these children are to me.


1 comment:

  1. God loves laughter just as much as sombre moments :)
    And to make him feel better, I am a grown woman and while watching a sad war movie once, at a very sad scene involving a soldier being shot while pulling a wire accross a field, my husband bent down and whispered that they also had used dogs to pull wires in the war as well.
    Then all I could picture was my former dog, all hyperactive and highstrung, running through a battlefield with a wire attached to him.
    And I laughed.
    People stared and well, no one thought that was cute. ;)