Today is Easter, and our first day back from a trip south for my momma’s 80th birthday. We celebrated her day by having friends and family from across the years send her remembrances that we gathered in a book for her, and by taking her out to high tea with a small group of her close friends. It was a little bittersweet because four out of six of her friends couldn’t attend because of illness or injury, driving home the concept of aging. Still, she seemed very pleased.
She was not as pleased, though, that Mythankfulboy spent more time with his cousins and uncle than with her. This seemed to be alleviated a bit by sending B off to the recycling center with her on our last morning there. Work is the fastest and most effective means of assuring my mom that you love her. At one point I turned to B and apologized for his not really doing anything fun while he was there, particularly since he was using his spring break to do it, and he said, “It’s okay, mom. I didn’t really expect to have fun. I came to see Peepeye (what he calls his grandmother)”. Everything with her is complicated by the fact that she cannot hear what is being said to her, and she knows it but refuses hearing aids. B needed reminders not to bounce around and gesticulate wildly when talking to her, something he tends to do when nervous.
A few highlights from the trip, just as a fun reminder, would be the fact that my back was out, missing our flight by getting there 5 minutes too late for our checked bag to make it, B’s having an allergic reaction to a smoothie he ate in the airport (quelled by a few antihistamines, luckily), that we made it there flying standby, seeing Grandaddy and Nini at the airport each way, B’s helping his cousin W move, B’s riding a motorcycle for the first time with his uncle J, buying mom a new telephone designed for folks with hearing losses, mom telling my sister and I that she knew we were whispering to each other about her and my sister and I dying laughing because Mom’s hearing is so poor there’s no need to whisper, and my sister’s baking a cake in the shape of a lamb for her Easter dinner with her husband’s family that failed to rise, leading to my telling her it was sacrilegious to serve a lamb that failed to rise on Easter.
At our chalice lighting upon arrival home, B was thankful for a successful trip to my mom’s. I was thankful for a painless trip home.
Today I took B and a baseball teammate to the baseball fields for a few hours of hitting ground balls to each other. On the way there, he said, “Shouldn’t we do something to mark Easter? I know it’s a Christian thing, but, it still seems like we should.” I asked what he thought we should do. He said maybe go out to dinner. I thought for a moment and suggested we go see the movie The Shack. He agreed, perhaps because there was movie popcorn in the suggestion. I was so glad we did. It was a good movie, which led to a deep talk about the locus of love and the ability to forgive (internal or external to ourselves), humans’ tendency to judge others, concepts of good and evil, and dealing with grief. When we left I asked him if it had been a good way to mark Easter, and he said it was. We drove home in the warm light of dusk over farmland. It was beautiful.
At our chalice tonight, he was thankful for the chance to hit some balls and go to a movie, and that he made the summer baseball team he had hoped to make. I was thankful for all those things and for time with him thinking about the world of faith and love.