After a recent move from Washington, DC and church shopping for a good year, we finally settled on St. Joseph’s Catholic Church. It was cozy, diverse and close to home.
Following a Saturday evening mass, we discussed the homily with the kids on the drive home. It was a mediocre effort to summon thoughts from our children and see if anything other then the weekly pew fight was absorbed.
The sermon was very straightforward, essentially about going to heaven, practicing repentance and doing the right thing. At one point, Father Michael asked the congregation to raise their hands if they wanted to go to heaven.
I looked down one side of the pew and saw our eldest daughter and son with their waving hands straight up in the air, then glanced at our 5-year-old, Zavier whose tiny digits were tucked away under his legs, eyes staring at me shaking his head adamantly.
His brother and sister, in their loud church whispers, glared at him and with disappointed voices uttered, “ZAVIER! You HAVE to raise your hand!” He readjusted his hands under his legs, sat up straight and stared up at the altar.
On the drive home, more curious than concerned, I asked the question again with the long drawn out vowel sounds kids love. “Sooooo, WHOOOO wants to go to heaven?” Dexter who is 7 and Cora, 8 both entrenched in Catechism hollered, “I do”, with zeal in their voices.
Zavier again shook his head, and in his outside voice said, “NOPE, I DON’T want to go to heaven.” With her well-trained third grade “you’re such a dummy” tone, Cora yelled, “YOU DON’T?!”
Zavier took a look around the van at all of us and finally announced, “No. I don’t want to go to heaven, ’cause I just don’t want to move AGAIN!”
That said, we all breathed a sigh of relief, gave our compassionate “we get it” nods and drove home. Logical thinking for a little guy. I mean, we all love the thought of eternal happiness but moving really is exhausting.