We had a busy weekend. My brother stayed with us Friday and Saturday night. On Saturday morning we went to the Young Scientist exhibition. Within less than two minutes of arriving I had lost Michael and had to make a lost child announcement. It wasn’t bad: the exhibits were interesting; the exhibitors were enthusiastic (we found a neighbour’s child exhibiting, very exciting) and there were quite good shows but the troops started to get hungry and we bailed at lunchtime.
We dropped the Princess in town with her friend and then she went off to her friend’s house and didn’t reappear again until she was dropped off at 8 in the evening – there is definitely something to be said for the mobile phone as regular updates kept us abreast of these developments.
Meanwhile the boys had a friend round in the afternoon who was to stay the night. We said to the child’s parents, “We are going to 11.30 am mass and happy to take him with us or for you to collect him beforehand.” His family are committed atheists, but clearly not committed enough as his mother replied immediately that he could go to mass no problem and they would collect him later in the afternoon.
So this morning I found myself hounding out of bed to go to mass: my two sons, their friend the atheist, my daughter and my brother (who had only returned at 4 in the morning from his night of dissipation). As I shepherded my unwilling flock in the direction of the church, Mr. Waffle commented, “You have become the Irish mammy”.
Mass itself was fine, even my intro which is usually fraught with difficultly. The Princess impressed her uncle with her reading skills. The atheist friend and the boys were positively saintly. After communion, I whispered to Michael to tell his friend it was nearly over as he was unlikely to know how long it would run and I felt he might welcome an update. “Neither do I know how long it will run,” said Michael mournfully.
Mass featured renewing of our baptismal vows and a sprinkling of holy water which is not standard issue. I am pretty sure that there is a device for sprinkling holy water but our priest today chose to use a bunch of (reasonably fresh) flowers for his water sprinkling which I think is unusual. I suppose it was all odd to our atheist friend.
Afterwards I asked him what he thought of it all. “Well,” he said, “it was very boring for me because I am an atheist.” I see.
How was your own weekend?