“Mommy, are you coming, it’s getting hot in the car?” Jenna is peering in from the front door with her sweet angel face. I sigh and shrug my shoulders. I sit down on the steps and try to conjure what would make him want to go to a place where he isn’t interested in the topic, he doesn’t like the singing, and has asked the class to “please stop singing”, and doesn’t have any real friends there. At least at elementary school he has all the little girls who try to help him. Here they look at him like he’s from another country. One snide boy actually asked me what was wrong with him. At seven years old, he cut me to the core.
I hear Jenna sigh as she comes in and sits down next to me mimicking my posture of defeat. We sit for a second in silence.
“Mommy, why doesn’t Ry Ry like church? She asks innocently.
I think for a long minute. I usually try to answer her questions with a hint of intelligence and forethought. She’s hasn’t asked too many questions about him in her life. I chalk that up to blind tolerance of a sibling. You are kind of stuck with them so why ask why…
“Well, honey, his CCD, uh Church School class is not…very…uh…fun for him.” Nice job with the forethought.
“Mine is. We have so much fun.” She says earnestly. I look into her light blue, anxious eyes. I know she means it. She does love being in almost any social situation. She delighted in preschool, and any mommy and me class I took her to. It’s completely opposite with Ryan.
“I know, honey…but church makes sense to you-right?” I ask hoping to really start a meaningful dialogue. She turns her head like a dog would when they hear something funny. “I mean, you go there and see your friends, you color and then they teach you something about Jesus-right?” She nods at this. And I try to slow down speaking so I can say the right thing.
“Well, to Ryan its loud and he doesn’t like to color. And to him learning about Jesus doesn’t mean much. You can understand that Jesus is Gods son. But that’s hard to explain to him…does that make sense?” I implore.
She shrugs her shoulders and says honestly. “I guess.”
I don’t think it really does make sense to her, but we need to get going and I have to accept that was enough of a “learning minute” for now. I hear Ryan upstairs and try again.
“Ry, come down, please.” I say up the stairs. “I have Thomas here and he wants you to come with us.”
I hear him slide along the wall a little and peek out the landing. “Thomas?” he says with a question in his voice.
“Yes!” I say in most excited voice. “Let’s go! He wants to see your friends at church.” I smile like an idiot at him nodding my head. The ‘assumptive close’ we called that in sales. He keeps peering down at me like he wants to come and begins to lightly kick his foot on the banister.
“We’ll go to McDonalds after…okay?” I say, trying not to sound like I’m begging.
He doesn’t answer but he starts to walk slowly down the stairs. Good enough for me! I grab Jenna’s hand and walk to the door to keep him moving that way. I hand him Thomas and we walk out. I’m already tired and we haven’t even gotten there yet.