It's been a while since we've truly communed. You are such an interesting study.
I wasn't initially raised going to visit you, Church, except for infant baptism and the rare occasions when my mom would dress us up to take us to visit you on the odd Easter. You were like school, that is you smelled like school, only you were dressier, shorter in length, and you contained more adults than you did children. Like school, I felt that you were something that was required of and happening to me.
Like school, I still got grouped with children my age and in that group, we outnumbered the lone adult. And also like school, I still felt shy, conspicuous and socially awkward among my assigned peers. Unlike school, you told more stories and you used felt dolls on a felt board to act the stories out, like a static puppet show.. so you were a bit more creative. That bit of creativity was not lost on me. It distracted me from your antiseptic, basement-y smell, towering adult in charge, and from the embarrassment of not knowing any of the answers. Very much like school, I was glad when you were over. I didn't think it very desirable that you were held on a Sunday feeling you should have been 'instead' of school, not 'in addition' to school.
I walked away thinking: it's not fun to come to church once in a blue moon. You probably have to attend regularly to feel you belong.
(Next installment to follow...the years of going voluntarily)