Maybe it was our trip to Wal-Mart. On second thought, I’m pretty sure it was the church nursery. Yep, the church nursery gave my child the stomach flu. 😦
It seems like literally every time we drop him off at the nursery during the winter months he comes back with a sniffle or a cough that occasionally turns into an ear infection. This was the first stomach bug to come home with him. I’m not necessarily blaming the people who run the place. Maybe it’s the parents who bring their kids to share their germs. Or maybe it’s bad luck.
But whatever the cause, I’m in a bit of a conundrum. Does this mean I need to bring Jacob to the nursery more often so his immune system will become stronger? Or shall I behave like I normally do and stay away for a few weeks afraid of what germ might be lurking on some plastic toy that Jacob will stick in his mouth?
For the brief time we were in Pittsburgh we attended a small church that we really enjoyed. They had just built a brand new nursery. They made kids take their shoes off and whenever an adult entered the room he or she had to do the same or wear those blue booties over their shoes. Amazing. They had a huge window through which you could see your children play as you came to pick them up or drop them off. Jacob never came back sick from church while we were there. Could it be because we were there in October and November, not the prime flu season? Or was that nursery cleaner? Or was it because there were fewer children?
How many children are in the nursery at our church? Does our nursery make our children take off their shoes? I have no idea because I’ve never seen the place. It’s kinda strange but at our church, after waiting in a roped off line with half a dozen other parents, you exchange your child for a beeper over a counter. You never get to see the room. I guess that’s life at a big church.
The first time I dropped Jacob off as a six month old, I asked to see the room where he would be. It was a quiet room filled with rocking chairs and middle aged women waiting to hold babies. How sweet. They did just that. They held him and loved him and he didn’t get sick. But Jacob has long since outgrown that room and now I have no idea of the mass chaos that surrounds the “walkers” room where I can only imagine a dozen snotty nosed criers. That may sound rude, but quite frequently when I pick him up that’s what I see–snotty nosed criers.
I guess it’s unavoidable. It’s winter time and kids are going to get sick. I don’t mean to harp so much on the church nursery. I have a friend that works there and I’m sure they do a good job. Still, it doesn’t make me all that enthused about getting up and going to church in the morning. And now there’s Landon to think about.
So, if I tell you that this past Sunday was our first day back at church since we’ve been back, you’d understand right? Good. Because this past Sunday was our first day back at church since coming home from Pittsburgh.
Shameful, I know. Thankfully, we don’t get into heaven based on church attendance. For the record, I do think going to church is important for fellowship and teaching, but lately when we go there is little, if any, fellowshipping involved. Some of it’s us, some of it’s the church. It’s a big church and it’s hard to feel involved if you are not really plugged in. We’ve tried, not the old college try, but we have tried. Anyway, this is a topic for another post. But some church shopping may be in our future.
And just so you don’t think we are complete heathens, we’ve listened to some online sermons and had “home church” with my family the Sunday after Christmas. Home church is code for stay home and drink coffee in your pajamas on the couch. My family’s been having home church for years. And yes, it’s more that drinking coffee. And yes, my parents do go to church. But every now and then when we’re feeling lazy (or running so far behind that even we would be embarrassed walking in that late) we have home church, and it is always a great time.
Home church starts off with hymns, usually. With my mom at the piano we gather ’round and sing hymns like “How Firm A Foundation” or “Fairest Lord Jesus” or as in our case last month, Christmas carols. Since we are an unrehearsed “worship team,” my mom occasionally stumbles her way through a song while my dad keeps on singing in his beautiful clear tenor voice. My mom adds in her lovely soprano or perhaps if she knows it, sings the harmony. I never know the harmony, although I sometimes try, so I usually end up singing the melody, voice cracking on the high notes and all. Darrell stands next to me quietly singing the words in his deep voice. He’s off key for almost the entire song, save a few notes here and there. Then there’s my brother, whose recently taken to singing the songs with us. I mean really singing the songs. These days that’s about it. My other two sisters and their husbands are sometimes there, particularly around the holidays. This past home church experience, even Jacob got in on the action.
After singing several hymns until our voices are sore and mom’s run out of songs she knows, we sit down and share about what we’ve been learning. It may be a verse God has shown us, a lesson He is teaching us, something our eyes have been opened to, or a difficulty we’ve encountered. My dad will usually read a passage relating to something he is learning and then we take prayer requests and pray. All the while sipping coffee in our pjs and taking bathroom breaks. It’s pretty awesome.
But as amazing as home church is, going to real church is important too. So, a few weeks from now, when Jacob is finally better and we are ready to handle another illness, we’ll be back. Until then, I’ll be on the couch sipping coffee in my pajamas listening to sermons online.