Crist is arisen!
Arisen he sothe! (the Paschal greeting in Chaucerian Middle English)
(click here for the Paschal greeting in a couple dozen languages)
My various ramblings and observations on Pascha with a toddler....
Kittyboy did astoundingly well in church on two hours of sleep. He fought sleep with all his might until about 9:30 Saturday night, and then was woken up at 11:15 to go to church - and amazingly, he cooperated. He looked incredulous that we were going back to church AGAIN, but was totally cool with it. Think how easy a normal Sunday will be after the Week Of Endless Church.
Holy Week has also had the benefit of lowering Husband's standards for Kittyboy's church behavior from "Captain Von Trapp's RoboChild" to slightly below MY standards. Hey, at least he's no longer leaving with him every time the boy opens his mouth. Or heaven forbid, plays with the kneeler. Husband's gotten waaaaaay more laid back. Something to do with having Kittyboy all to himself Sunday-Thursday nights, and Wednesday-Friday mornings, because we decided Father could get along without an acolyte easier than without a chanter. Friday night and Saturday night, we *gasp* all sat together!
Saturday night, Kittyboy spent mainly curled up on one of our laps looking sleepily attentive. No sleep in sight, not when there were so many candles to look at and people doing things. He was one of two toddlers in the entire sanctuary - and the youngest of those by at least a year. I don't know why more people don't just bring blankets and have their kids sack out in the pew. It's the one night out of the year they get to go to a party at 2 a.m.!
Husband was not satisfied with exercising Jedi mind control over the acolytes, and kept darting out to remind them of things, because The Service Would Implode otherwise. It was kind of cute, he's been head acolyte for so long, he was having difficulty letting his baby birds leave the nest and fly on their own. But no one lit anyone on fire, did anything sacrilegious, or whacked anyone in the head with the censor, and another leader is in fact emerging - a TEN-year-old, P, who took the reins and directed the others, two of whom were older than he. That was enjoyable to watch during the Resurrection Liturgy, particularly with the "Red Alert!" expression on Husband's face, followed by P smoothly averting "disaster", repeatedly. If P is capable of running the team, maybe Husband will take a Sunday off now and then. Kittyboy would not mind in the slightest.
And he totally loved the party at 2 a.m.!!! He ate lots of bread, his favorite food group even after fasting is over, and decided he likes feta after grabbing a big chunk of it off our plates.
The greeting in Welsh -
Atgyfododd in wir!
Anyone have any idea how to say that?
Then Sunday morning at 11, we were back, where else but church again, which Kittyboy must think is our new home, stumbling through the Agape service. We have a wonderful, wonderful lady named Amy who moved here recently, and had asked a couple weeks before Pascha how our Agape service ran, and who did which languages, because she could read it in French and Italian. Half the people there had no idea what she was talking about, because the service is VERY poorly attended and Father's never bothered with more than English and Greek. So Amy sent out a mass e-mail, drafted everyone who could read something other than English, and by golly, we had an Agape service. Father read the Gospel first in Greek, Amy did French, Italian and German (believe the dialect was Hoch Deutch, it had that Klingon sound to it), we had Latin, Russian, Serbian, Ukrainian, and I did Spanish. If out-of-towners could have made it, we'd have had ASL too. I've not used Spanish since my sophomore year of college, make that seven years now, because I could not abide my college Spanish professor, and she turned me off the language completely. But I did volunteer Spanish, and survived it - although I realized in the last verse that I'd pronounced Jesus' name the Greek way every time. Iisous, not Hay-sus. Ah well - I SURVIVED. We all survived, despite the fact that no one knew who was doing what in what order or anything. And we know for next year how to plan it better.
Then after a nap for Kittyboy, we went to Father and Presbytera's house for the party to end all parties. The first thing that greeted us as we entered the house - a screaming, running mob of children. And Presbytera Filia, urging us into the kitchen, "Come on, come on, get a plate, get some food, eat, eat, let the little one play with the children, he'll be fine..." Husband and I had the exact same thought in our minds. Kittyboy shoves - hits - pulls hair. All in the name of "fun", he does it with a big ol' grin like it's a game, and appears to not know that other children don't like that. He plays nicely with much older children (his best friend is 8), but not so much ones his size. Filia's youngest granddaughter is his size, and most of the little mob was not too much bigger. And when really, REALLY riled up, he has attacked children much larger than himself. Therapists think it sounds like he gets overstimulated with lots of faces on his level. Also likely that he just doesn't quite get it yet - they're living beings, not large toys. So no, he wouldn't necessarily be "fine"! Neither would anyone else be if our solid, muscular Baby Samson took a swing at them!
We were both jack-in-the-boxes, popping up and down - "Where is he now? What was that crash? Who is crying? Who did what? Where is he??" And thankfully, instead of getting wound up and smacking someone (or shoving the granddaughter down the stairs, or other things we feared), he went off by himself. He found a Larryboy DVD in the TV room, and our neighbor, his Thea Maria, who was also there was more than happy to play it for him. At first I was displeased that here we came to be with people, and he was parked in front of the television - then I considered that perhaps he was blindsided and overwhelmed by the mob greeting, and so took a break to settle in to his new surroundings first. He left to go play about ten minutes in, so that was probably it - the children, adults and new surroundings were too much all at once, so he left an overstimulating situation to collect himself. Bravo!
It was funny; other parents were trying to keep their children from misbehaving, we were looking for ours TO misbehave, in accordance with the other children! You know, that whole social thing, paying attention to others, imitative play, and interacting with the group. And he performed! Therapists will be thrilled! He learned to throw things off the balconey, to our concealed delight (of course we put a stop to it officially), and a perfectly precious little girl taught him how to slide down the heavily carpeted stairs on his backside. With his shorter legs, he got better speed going feet-first on his stomach, and so they both did that for a while - she on her bottom and he beside her on his stomach, both giggling. Up and down and up and down. It was the cutest thing. Her twin brother attempted to teach him how to play with action figures. Must talk to the twins' grandmother about a playdate sometime.
All around, a most joyous Pascha!