Me and the Boys

NRBQ – Me and the Boys

With my daughter off at college, it’s just me and the boys (my husband and my son) at home these days. Today the three of us went up to see her perform in a chorus concert. The students did a very good job but one of the soloists, a woman from somewhere else, was perhaps not on her A game.

The concert took place in a church and it occurred to me that I don’t think my son had been in a church since he was an infant and I had no choice but to bring him with me for my grandmother’s funeral. He was kind of floored by all the paintings and architectural details. To me, the thing that pricked my senses was the incense. “Smells like church!” I said. He asked, “What do you mean, it smells like church?” He didn’t realize that wasn’t just this one place that smelled that way.

Before the concert got underway he was asking me lots of questions: What’s this book? A hymnal. What’s a hymnal? A book full of hymns, then they’ll put numbers up on that board over there so you know what page to turn to so you can sing along. What’s this thing? A kneeler, leave it alone. Who are the guys in those paintings? The apostles. What about those ones? Those are the Stations of the Cross.

Then he cast his eyes about looking for an outlet to charge his phone. Hahaha! Obviously there’s no place to plug in something (I hadn’t brought a charging cable anyway) and I told him he’d have to just pay attention. That’s what we had to do, every Sunday. I told him the story about the time I was so bored that I sat there fiddling with my fingernails the whole time and my mother kept giving me the evil eye. When church was over she said, “If your fingernails are so fascinating, you can play with them for an hour at home!” and she made me sit on a stool in the kitchen and stare at my fingernails for an hour while she was starting something for dinner. How long did church last? Over an hour, on these hard wood benches, but your whole Sunday was shot until about 2pm because you weren’t allowed to do anything before church and the grown-ups would always want to talk with their friends after.

At one point in the concert he started to cough so he snuck out to look for a water fountain. He came back and gave me the thumbs up so I thought he had found one but after the concert ended, my husband asked him where the water fountain was. He replied that he hadn’t found one, he just blew his nose and cleared his throat, because he figured those pedestals with water in them weren’t for drinking. 🤦😬 Holy water! Dodged a bullet there!

After the concert ended and we waited for my daughter to come out, he made a tour around checking out the Stations of the Cross. He informed me that Jesus had dropped it three times! I said, well it was heavy and he had to carry it to the place where they were going to crucify him. At that point I decided that the three of us should watch Monty Python’s Life of Brian together. My husband was going to take my son to see Monty Python and the Holy Grail in the movie theater so my son could get extra credit in his mythology class, but it was showing on one night only and they missed it. This seems like a worthwhile substitute.