Sunday commenced a new season of Children's Liturgy of the Word at our parish, and yours truly was signed up to conduct the inaugural session. I have to admit, I was dreading it just a hair.
It's been 5 months since I last taught one of those sessions, and toward the end of my tenure doing them in the spring, I was finding it increasingly difficult to keep the diverse age ranges represented paying attention for anything resembling the entire time. It's really designed for kids ages 4-6, those that can glean something from a childrens' version of the readings but who have not yet begun official religious education toward making their first reconcilliation and eucharist.
What happens though is that parents send kids back who are anywhere from 8 or 9 down to little ones who can manage to walk back into the sacristy. The older kids are actually no trouble, although I do worry about them becoming bored. But the little 2-3 year olds are TOUGH, especially when trying to keep up some form of dialogue with the older children. I was feeling a bit disillusioned in April/May, and like I was doing quite a bit of babysitting, but not much catechizing.
Well. I was very pleasantly surprised this past Sunday. I had a smallish group, maybe 6-8 kids, and nobody appeared to be below age 4, which really helped. They sat quietly and even answered questions. We were talking about the parable of the vineyard owner, and so I tossed in some details about Mike and I going to Napa Valley on our honeymoon, which they seemed to like. Overall, it was the best session I've had of these in many, many months.
Big relief. Unfortunately, after Mass, as I was making my way back into the sacristy to clean up the materials, Henry ran ahead of me (he loves to help set up and take down on the Sundays when it's my turn) and in the 10 seconds it takes me to prop the sacristy door open, I hear shattering glass. I knew right away that my Henry was responsible. :) He had accidentally knocked the vase of fake flowers off the little table and it broke on the stone floor.
It was fine, and I was relieved to have my first session behind me. I'm not on again until early November, so I have plenty of time to gear up.