Sunday with (and without) Daughter

She’s up at 6:00. Well, she’s awake at 6:00. It’s 6:15 at least before she’s up. She’s dressed quickly enough, and since she prepared her cheer practice bag last night, she grabs it as we head out the door for the Brown Line train.

It’s 6:25.

The train is more full than usual for so early on a Sunday morning. I notice the runner bibs on passengers. There’s a run happening, and runners are boarding at every stop. Women. Men. Families. I remember that the high school student I recruited to lead worship at 11:00 this morning is doing this run first, then coming to church.

Because of the race route, the Red Line trains are going over the top through the loop, so we may as well stay on our Brown Line train instead of transferring to the Red Line at Belmont, in the cold. It just means that when we get off we’ll have about a 15 minute walk.

There’s a Starbucks beneath the Brown Line stop at Chicago and Franklin. When Daughter comes to church with me this early, Starbucks is the least I can do for her. We’ll pass two others between here and the church, and I suggest we wait, so that we won’t have to carry drinks and croissants along with our bags, but no, she wants it now.

She decided a couple weeks ago that she’s a chai latte person, so chai latte it is. It occurs to me while we wait that the 66 bus will cut several blocks out of our walk, so as soon as we have our hot liquids we join the small crowd standing on the sidewalk outside. The crowd includes one of the church receptionists, who I just saw at the church yesterday afternoon as I was preparing to officiate a wedding. He sizes up our situation in a quick glance and says with a smirk, “You got screwed too, eh?”

I like him. I consider for a minute that, for me, coming to church this early on a Sunday is a central feature of my life and calling. I’m preaching and leading worship today, wearing a robe and stole. He’s got a couple other jobs, and this one scheduled him for the early Sunday shift up against a late Saturday shift. I’m glad we’ll ride the bus together, even for just a few blocks.

Daughter disappears with the bell choir Director once we get to church, because she plays with her daughter during rehearsal at 8:00, while I’m leading worship. The bell choir Director doubles as Sunday School staff, so she’ll take Daughter to Sunday school at 9:30, where she will stay through two more worship services I’m leading. I won’t see her until after 12:00.

She gets those dumplings she likes for lunch, then we’re in a Lyft headed for cheer practice, a 40 minute drive. Her cheer uniform is on under her clothes, and her hair will have to get done in the car. She needs to use my phone’s selfie camera as a mirror, and as she does I snap a picture.

I want to remember these days.

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