"All words are symbols that represent unspeakable realities. Which is also why words are magical." (Donald Miller tweet)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Finish this sentence ... "It's SOOOO hot that ...."

Here's mine. "It's SOOOO hot that my face makes babies cry."

Actually, I don't know if it had anything to do with the heat.

Sunday, we had our whole church picnic out at Christie Conservation Area. I did NOT spontaneously combust, although once or twice I thought I might, so I hustled my pale little self into the shade. We did our annual water baptisms in a quiet, murky little corner of the lake. If you were watching me closely, you might have seen my eyebrows suddenly jump up as I rapidly moved a little to the right.

Because a rock solidly bumped my left leg.

And then I realized rocks don't float.

And then the rock bumped me again.

I'm very proud that the only reaction I had was a delicate twitch of the brows and an unobtrusive shift to the right. Because inside my head - well, inside my head there was some shrieking. And wouldn't THAT be awkward if I baptized someone "In the name of the Father, the Son, and .... AAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!"

After the picnic I wanted ice cream, and I wanted it Right Now. That doesn't happen often, but when it does, Spike is happy to cooperate. After ice cream, he realized he wanted real food, so we went across the steaming hot parking lot for some Chinese food. (I know. Everything about that is wrong. Even at the time, I knew it.)

Which brings us to the baby.

I was sipping on wonton soup, since I was too full of ice cream to eat anything else, when a family came in and plopped their baby down at the next table. The baby stared at me. Stared and stared. So I smiled. He stared some more. I smiled and waved. He stared. I smiled, waved, and said, "Hello!" He screwed up his face and burst into tears.

Then he looked away and stopped crying. Looked back. I smiled. He wailed. This cycle was repeated a few times.

Finally his mother said apologetically - "He doesn't like it when people smile at him ... it's a new thing."

Well that's just funny. So I laughed. Which made him cry some more. And then he stared some more. I finally held up the leftover takeout boxes in front of my face so he wouldn't see me smiling.

And then he smiled.

So I left.


Derbecker said...

I respect your self control at the baptism. But if you started screaming incoherently at whatever was in the water, might the parishioners have thought you were speaking in tongues and followed it up with a hearty 'Amen'?

Patti said...

Howling with laughter. In my office. WITH one of my parishioners.

You know, you make a valid point.