Have you ever been around a person who takes Vatican II just a little too far? You know who I'm talking about. They're the ones that take "active participation" to a whole new level. Well, I just found out that we have one of those types in our family. Now don't get me wrong, I'm all for "active participation" properly understood. I sing joyfully. Heck, I've even been known to give a vigorous handshake at the sign of peace, but this guy just goes too far. He makes little comments during the homily, distracts other parishioners and, worst of all, insists on talking along with Father at the consecration. I just don't know how my baby became a "Spirit of Vatican II" type.
To be fair, he is only six months old so he might grow out of it. Until that day comes, though, I am facing issues I never really thought about. First off, how loud is too loud? I hear other kids cooing or making little noises at Mass and generally don't care, but for some reason the least sound my child makes seems like a police siren screaming down the aisle. I've been assured it doesn't sound like this to others, but I have my doubts.
Secondly, I didn't know being a father suddenly made you super aware of other people. I used to go to Mass, the happy bachelor (but not nearly as happy as I am married to you, honey), without even giving those around me a second glance. You could have sat next to me in a gorilla costume and I wouldn't have noticed. Now I'm suddenly aware of everyone and guess what? There isn't one Sunday when someone isn't staring at the baby the whole time. Do you know how hard it is to concentrate on the Mass when someone is staring blankly at your baby? I do. Hard. Real hard.
Finally, no, you can't touch the baby. I don't know you and, more to the point, you just got done shaking everyone's hand in a mile radius. It isn't personal, I just think you're a walking bag of germs sent to destroy the fragile immune system baby Eddie has managed to scrape together.
So the next time you see a baby screaming his head off at Mass or distracting parishioners please remember that the parents may not be selfish jerks, but rather literally frozen with the hundred thoughts and worries that come with being a parent. Or they might be jerks. Either way, pray for us!