Oh my. What a day.
Confessions are at 11 am at the Cathedral on Saturdays, so we hauled our sooty little souls down there this morning. I noticed the line was moving quickly, which meant our usual favorite priest wasn't there. The kids went first, then me. Bill was hanging in the back with the little ones and went after the three people behind me.
A sign inside explained the short confession time: Deaf Priest. Do not whisper.
This would have been a good day to have mortal sins.
So, no lengthy explanations, no probing questions, no nothing. State your sins, say you're sorry, get forgiveness, get out.
After confession, I like to compare penances. I got one Our Father. Billy said he got three Hail Marys. Goodness! Fritz admitted he couldn't understand what the elderly Irish priest had said, so he did the Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be, Angel of God and St.Michael prayers. Covered his bases. Katie said she, too, had not understood so she did three Hail Marys. Then Billy admitted he didn't understand the priest either. (Was that a lie he told right after confession?)
I asked the kids if they saw the sign that said the priest was deaf.
They asked about the man being Irish. Jenny, being somewhat out of the loop since she hadn't gone to confession, asked, "Are all Irish people deaf?"
"No," I answered, "He happens to be Irish and he happens to be deaf. Not all Irish people are deaf."
"Oh," she said, "He's deaf and he's Irish. All Irish people are deaf."
"No!" my husband said. "You're part Irish. Are you deaf?"
Cheekily, my 7 year old asked, "What did you say?"
Then we went to the store to buy some pants, socks, and shoes because my children keep growing despite my expressly stated order that they should mature, but not grow. Growing can be done when they have jobs to pay for clothes.
By this time, they were starving, and we decided to feed them even though, for sure, my son would grow a half inch during the meal. While we waited for our food, I suggested we play a game to keep everybody's mind off the fact that we were waiting for food. I suggested that everybody pick a new name and we would all call each other by these different names for the rest of the weekend.
"My name is Empress Maria Theresa. You may call me Empress or Your Highness and you certainly may curtsy or bow when speaking to me. Please speak in German or Czech."
Bill selected Hector. Fritz wanted to be called Bob. Billy, Hades. Katie, Nancy Drew. Jenny picked some fairy name, then said she didn't want to play. Fine. Foo on you. Peter first picked Carson Palmer. Mary is Mary.
At one point, Peter was acting like a 5 year old and Bill suggested that he act like Carson Palmer, meaning, like an adult. Images flashed in my mind of the notorious behavior of professional athletes, so I began to protest, "Well, I don't know if that's such a good idea..." Then I pointed to Billy, "He's HADES."
"Good point," said Bill.
Peter changed his name to Joe Hardy.
It was a steak place, this restaurant, but the children's menu did not have steak on it. The adult menu had 12 oz steaks or larger (or a 6 oz filet mignon for more than the 12 oz sirloin). There was no steak salad or steak burger or anything small and less expensive, so I told Billy he could not have steak. Feeling bad for our carnivorous young son, my husband ordered a steak and gave him some to supplement his chicken finger lunch.
Billy, I mean Hades, when given his portion, responded, "Thank you for your offering."
If you don't quite get that, you obviously haven't read the Percy Jackson books.
More errands. Mary falls asleep. The kids are given an option to stay in the car instead of going into Home Depot for air filters and light bulbs. Katie and Jenny want to come, but the rest will stay.
"Fritz, sit up front and look 12," I say. He's been affecting a "mature" look since he was 11 1/2 so I could run quick errands while leaving a sleeping tot in the car.
"I am twelve!"
"Oh. Yeah. Good. Sit up front."
At Bass Pro shops, nobody wanted to stay in the car. That's OK. I came prepared with a book. I happily stayed with Mary.
Bill wants to take me out to shoot shotguns. I know, I know. What a lucky lucky gal I am to have a husband with such romantic ideas for dates.
He said he needed ear protection. He said he knows I'm sensitive to things touching me, and thought perhaps the stick-in-your-ear ear plugs might annoy me. "It's OK. I'll just go deaf," I said.
After the errand, he showed me the stick-in-your-ear $0.99 ear plugs he bought - for him. And he showed me the full-cover-over-your-ears, much-more-than-$0.99 ear protection he bought - for me.
This is love.
On the way home, I read him a few snippets from Rachel Balducci's book. The theme of these excerpts was Chuck Norris. Chuck Norris is not well known in my home...yet. I noticed how eerily quiet the car became when I was reading. My cell phone rang, and I spoke for a minute to a girlfriend. The din from the back of the van was the usual volume - loud. But when I hung up and went back to the book: silence.
We went home and somebody said something else very funny. I can't remember it. But I do know that Fritz said, "Mom, you have to put this on your blog!" It doesn't matter what it was, really. His comment wasn't at all narcissistic, self centered - somebody else was the clever one. And he has very little clue that complete strangers read this blog. He knows my blog is our family history.
We ran errands and took care of business. We ate lunch and spent the day together. We had fun.
It was just an ordinary mundane Saturday, but we want to remember it.