Update on the Kids and Mass Issue.
First of all, thanks for the great, helpful comments--they have been much appreciated. Big hat-tips to Fr. Brian Stanley--that was a tonic for us both. If it weren't for $3 a gallon gas....
Second--a clarification: Heather already does keep our children toward the back of the Church, though we think the open space in that area may be part of Rachel's problem--she thinks there's room to roam.
Third--the actual update. A bit of a mixed bag, alas. First of all, she went. That was decided Tuesday. Not going to be exiled that easily. Mary A rode shotgun for Heather today, sitting with her and actually moving her closer to the altar. Rachel was better today, FWIW. The other two were their usual well-behaved selves.
As to the gentleman who approached Heather on Tuesday--it would be great to say he apologized. He did the next best thing, though--he sat near Heather and actually smiled and interacted with the children. Which earned him a shush-glare combo from Mary--"Don't complain about the kids and then get them laughing!"
I assure you, folks--he is a sweetheart of a guy who appears to have had a Kenny Rogers (the Tigers pitcher, not the singer) moment. Sometimes actually saying the words is the toughest thing.
The one down note was our current pastor's suggestion (relayed second-hand)--for Heather to sit back in the women's coat room as a "compromise." The room in question has two doors that open out into the church proper--but it's the worst of all worlds. First of all, you can't see much of anything. And second of all, the open doors don't muffle any noise.
I don't care much for this suggestion (and it is just that), and neither does Heather. Still trying to process what it means.
Finally, we are going to use some of the gentle suggestions (prayer for the individual(s)) offered the next time someone comes up with a complaint. If that doesn't shame them, Heather's handing the complainer my business card and advise them to call me directly.