This morning James watched Cecilia while I went to daily mass. (I love going to mass with Cecilia, but I'm lucky if I catch the readings no less the homily she keeps me so busy, so it was a nice treat to be able to focus...or try.) There were several small children at mass this morning and two pairs of them caught my attention.
One mom was seated directly behind me with two children, about 4 and 2 years old. They were quite noisy and not a little distracting but throughout the entire mass the mother tried to keep them quiet and was constantly trying to keep them focused on what was going on. She told them that bread and wine were being brought up to the altar and directed their attention to Jesus during the consecration. Coming back from communion I heard her say, "Okay, it's time to say our prayer to Jesus."
The other mom was seated about 2 pews ahead of me and one aisle over. She had about a 4 year old son and a daughter between 1 and 1 1/2 years old. They were almost completely quiet the entire mass. The little boy had a toy and both children ate pop tarts the whole time.
While certainly one set of children were more quiet, I had to prefer the mom behind me. Even though her children were more distracting, they were not there to eat or play but learn and be involved with the Mass. Isn't that why all of us go to Mass?