MaMa, I can’t see

By Ana Borden

I think we are not the only parents in any congregation to find themselves bringing their index finger to their lips or sharing the notorious glare that implies, “Wait until after Mass.”
We were quite honestly spoiled with our oldest child, who quickly became engrossed with the Mass and has had the gift of singing since a very young age.

But just like most very young children, our son was quite squeamish celebrating Mass. As a 5-year-old, he was still mastering reading and could not follow along in the Missalette like his older sister.
As he matured and began to understand the parts of the Mass, able to recite prayers and sing along, his demeanor slowly started to change. But like any other child his age, he was still easily distracted by his younger siblings and friends in surrounding pews.

So, one day following Mass, in lieu of making my weekly assumptions and fussing, I was finally enlightened to ​ask​ him why.
The response was so simple and transparent that I overlooked it in my weekly frustration, “MaMa, I can’t see.”
Of course! He was not only a little kid, but too small yet to see over the pew. The combination of lowering the kneeler and choosing a place for our family to sit with better visual access to the altar while whispering to him what we were witnessing during the Mass finally seemed to “click.”

I also thank his school’s teachers for not only guiding him in his relationship towards Christ, but also teaching the importance and the different parts of the Mass and how each child is an important part of this celebration.
How do you help your child participate in the Mass?

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