What a great day we had yesterday. We didn’t start with the usual smush of mother and daughters on the Big Comfy Chair for breakfast and the comics since the Mall Diva had to leave for church early to rehearse with the band, but I did get the joy of opening my eyes to the smells of fresh bread and hot coffee. That, plus being fortified with an extra hour of sleep after “falling back” to Standard Time was a good head start on a lovely autumn day.
We got ourselves organized and off to church (sans Bonita, who was spending the day with her friends and youth group) to hear the Reverend Mother preach for the first time since being ordained late last year (ministry is so much more than preaching and teaching). With her at the lectern, the Mall Diva singing during Praise & Worship, Tiger Lilly working the slides with the song lyrics and me ushering it might seem as if the church couldn’t survive without us, when in actuality just the opposite is true. Afterwards we went over to our friends’ house for brunch where we were gloriously overserved with pumpkin pancakes hot off the griddle with spiced butter and real maple syrup, sausage and egg casserole, croissants, lox and bagels and more coffee in cups as big as our heads. “Uncle” Ben accompanied us, learning that membership does have its privileges (sorry, inside joke), and it was tremendous fun to sit around the table afterwards as the conversation seamlessly wove between the Bible and Monty Python (yes, it can be done).
When we at last took our leave it was then time to head over to St. Paul to hear Ben’s sister play in a wind ensemble. It was a delightful and stirring musical performance that caused me to remember my own school days of playing tenor saxophone in school bands and the satisfaction, and even the thrill, of being part of a large group of people all playing in perfect rhythm and synchronization (well, maybe less than perfect in my case). The best part, however, was meeting Ben’s parents for the first time — and *blush* then hearing how much they had been looking forward to meeting us (and how much they already knew about us). After Marjorie and I were introduced to Ben’s dad, Chris, I started to introduce my daughters but there was no need. Chris turned immediately to the red head and enthusiastically said, “You must be Tiger Lilly!” Then, turning to my other daughter, “And the Mall Diva, of course — and are those wrist sweaters you’re wearing?” I’m used to being addressed in blogging circles by my blog-handle, but it is kind of a strange sensation to hear your children recognized by their aliases, especially by non-bloggers. Maybe it’s just one of those little things that sneak up on parents from time to time to tell you that your children are on about the business of making their way.
Events up to this point would have made for a full and memorable day, but there was still more to come. After the concert and a brief visit with Ben’s folks it was time to head over to Minneapolis for a costume party with Surly and Sweeter Half. Since the Reverend Mother is on-call as a police chaplain this week, that became her “costume” (if she received a call it might be less than effective to arrive on the scene in her official capacity but wearing a fright wig or bunny ears.) The Mall Diva easily reprised her birthday gown and tiara into “Ice Princess” regalia, and Tiger Lilly enthusiastically donned pirate garb with a plastic sword being a satisfactory, temporary trade-off for her new nunchaku which otherwise seldom leave her hands of late (believe me, it pays to keep your eyes open when walking around my house). I went as the unoriginal guy-too-busy-to-create-a-costume, but this was remedied upon my entrance to the party when I was presented with a rakish musketeer hat that I was later loathe to part with.
We met some more new, fun people and had more great food and the Rev. Mother even found the desire of her heart — a baby to hold. This one in particular was special because, even though he was a male infant, his long, dark hair and round cheeks bore a strong resemblance to the very young Diva. I double-clutched when I came into the room and saw the baby cradled in her lap; it was like looking through a rip in the time-space continuum. As discombobulating as it was for me, I think it’s more of a challenge for the Diva, who, beneath the pointed, longing, “When are you going to give me grandchildren” looks of her mother, usually responds with something along the lines of, “What are you looking at me for? You don’t even let me date!”
It was a very pleasant evening and then we had to leave early because it occurred to us that no one had told Bonita the security code for getting back into the house. Later, when Bonita arrived she curled up with the Rev. Mum to download the events of her weekend as well. When it was my turn to bid Marjorie good night we talked about what a fun and full day it had been, but how, strangely, it hadn’t felt stressed or hurried. We decided that it was because other people had done all the work and all we had to do every step of the way was just show up!
I could almost get used to that!