On Being a NOLA Catholic Kid

By Casey Sprehe

Only 8 years into this parenting gig, I’ve decided that our Mass experiences rank high in the stressful times of parenting.

I find it helpful to remember I was once a kid in church. It knocks down my expectations of how I want my kids to perform. It also reminds me, that this too shall pass, whatever hard phase of parenting I’m in, it will pass.

Here are a few of my memories of church as a kid:
1. Stomping up angrily to receive a blessing at St. Anselm’s. As a 5-year-old, I didn’t understand why everyone got a cracker at halftime except for me. (1990)
2. Sticking out like a sore thumb at Our Lady of the Lake in Mandeville. I demanded to wear a flowered dress for my first Communion. My mom acquiesced, but not without first putting a large mauve bow in my hair to match. (1992)
3. Wanting to separate myself from my mom at St. Margaret Mary Church in Slidell. We rode together to church, but I’d sit with my friends. I wouldn’t even look for her at for the sign of peace. Then, we’d ride home together. (1999)
4. Hoping to disappear instantly at St. Benilde in Metairie. The priest started the homily by saying, “We are going to talk about a three-letter word that starts with an S.” He asked for guesses. I shouted loudly and proudly, “Sex!” He answered calmly and clearly, “Sin.” (2005)
5. Olympic speed walking down the aisle at St. Dominic in New Orleans. “Slow down,” my dad said, “You’ll have the rest of your life with this guy.” (2010)
Whether it’s toddler defiance, adolescent rebellion or just childish behavior, the phase will pass. May we enter the phases with grace, courage and a bit of light heartedness.
“Let the children come to me” – Matthew 19:14

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