Note: Monday Morning Quarterback is a weekly post reviewing Sunday, the busiest, most stressful, most gratifying day in the week of a pastor/parent/spouse/citizen.
Song of the day:
6:00. Walk Me Up alarm sounds and is uncharacteristically pacified by a desperate wave of the hand. Throat is scratchy and I feel like a sack of bricks. Climb out of the cavern that is my mattress and head for the shower.
6:39. Ibuprofen and coffee.
6:43. Working on an outline for the adult education forum this morning on bullying. Local high school student was supposed to be the centerpiece, but he was felled by a previously scheduled lifeguard exam. Now it’s me and whatever shreds of danah boyd’s research I can piece together. That’s a lot actually. She’s amazing.
7:37. Consulting with Wife a about the coordination of my awesome shoes with my black pants. Uh uh. Don’t work. Gotta go with khaki.
8:13. Arrive to find the Children’s Center Director entering her office, a novel sight for a Sunday morning. Saturday brought bad news about last week’s bathroom flood and the consequent inspection; the words “asbestos” and “preschool” pass heavily between us as we do a quick back-of-the-napkin game plan for a preschool evicted from its building for four weeks.
8:43. Distributing 20 copies of the adult education handout on a perfect circle of chairs.
8:56. Greet a 7th grader with the news that he’s one of the morning’s acolytes. “No I’m not,” he answers. “My mom said I didn’t have to anymore.” Adolescent development, Luther, and The Doctrine of Vocation would make a great seminary paper title.
9:11. Over 30 people now crowding into the adult education forum. Introductory question: “why does this matter to you.” Stunned by adults relating experiences, not only of their kids being bullied, but of their own absorption of bullying at work. Didn’t count on that.
9:52. Flee the forum late for worship and deputize an unsuspecting participant. “Take over.”
9:59. Donning my newest stole for the first time. It’s a five year anniversary gift made by a dear church member back in February, at the start of Lent. I’ve looked forward to Ordinary Time more eagerly than normal this year. Also, it matches my shoes.
10:01. Two acolytes materialize providentially. They’re on the small size, and last week’s candles gave us some trouble, so we do a quick lighting practice. All six candles light. We even replace one of the tapers, just to be safe.
10:07. Brand new taper failing its maiden voyage. Two chancel candles won’t light. As high school student plays and sings a delicate introit, the entire congregation watches the acolyte and Head of Staff strain at the candles before finally accepting defeat.
10:13. As the saints of God pass the peace of Christ, I claim my victory over the two holdout candles.
10:14. Head of Staff has gone missing while Children’s Director conducts the Children’s Time. After several minutes of scanning the sanctuary, I locate her: in the choir loft holding one of the Children’s Director’s babies. Sneaky.
10:19. Reading Galatians 1 through sniffles.
10:49. As Head of Staff invites the congregation to communion in between me and the Parish Associate behind the Table, a sneeze is coming. I successfully contain it, though I’m sure both my feet left the floor.
11:06. Greeting folks on the patio, recruit former student and recent college graduate to give Daughter swim lessons–starting tomorrow. Girl’s gotta learn, like, yesterday.
11:21. Making my way to Teacher Appreciation reception. Stopped by one of the bullying forum participants who offers helpful advice for the next one.
11:25. Advice still coming . . .
11:26. Break away from advise to chase down some reception cake (I skipped breakfast). Intercepted by 6th grader who launches into a nuanced recitation of a Zelda YouTube video.
11:29. Zelda, Zelda, Zelda, Zelda . . . cake only feet away. Getting woozy.
11:33. More Zelda. This has to stop.
11:34. Crash the cake table. Enjoy first bite as Wife informs me that I’ll be taking daughter to her classmate’s Birthday pool party by myself. In 20 minutes.
11:44. Escaping reception to head for Birthday party with Daughter. Nabbed by church member with a book recommendation for the church library. It’s her sister’s book, a compilation of weekly advise columns for a Christian newspaper. Would I like to see it? Of course. Of course.
12:43. Declining a can of Tecate as politely as I can.
1:01. Devouring burger with mustard. Then another. Then wrinkled remains of Daughter’s hot dog.
1:39. Baking on a lawn chair as Daughter lays on the concrete next to me, wrapped in a towel. Didn’t bring a hat. Or sunglasses. Still, dozing.
2:00. Wife mercifully arrives to relieve me, so I can go home and put away the groceries she just bought.
2:23. Finish putting groceries away just in time to watch Royals put the finishing touches on another loss.
3:30. Head out for the store to get snacks for the Junior High Youth Group and a dinner item for the High School Youth Group year-end party. Lemonade, Cheese Puffs, Cookies, Taffy, and . . . salad?
5:12. Junior high game involves teams of three huddling together with their heads touching as they keep a balloon in the center of their feet. I tap out of my team of two 7th grade girls and offer the female adult volunteer a crack at it.
5:51. Urge students, ala Joshua 1, to be strong and courageous. Feeling weak.
7:06. Looking at a terrific spread for the high school party. Pizza, fried chicken, homemade bundt cake, enchiladas, spaghetti. And my salad.
8:42. The game is Name That Movie, where you try to get your team to guess the title by naming isolated features of it. Breathless student thus describes Star Wars: “Little green guy. Big black guy. Glowing sticks.” The real kicker comes with her explanation of the “Big black guy”: “I didn’t mean Darth Vader. I meant Samuel L. Jackson.”
9:01. Thanking volunteers for all their time. Telling students I love them, blessing them, and sending them into the summer.
9:32. Dropping student off. Heading home.
10:32. Working on Monday Morning Quarterback, suspiciously eyeing Daughter’s Antworks Ant Farm. The sides are covered in condensation, and they look mad. Plus, they seem to be eating the sealant on the lid. Contemplating consequences of ant jail break.