perhaps I should begin with the day. dan is 21 now and being a child of divorce has spent most of his life going back and forth between mom's house and dad's house. we rotate christmas's and this year because of mom's new living arrangement wanted to carve out some christmas time together.
we decided that we would have christmas lunch today and share some time together and try to make the best of our "new" christmas tradition.
it all started out fine or so it seemed. dan arrived and we gave him the coles notes version of our holiday. we discussed his move to san francisco and then mom and dad arrived for lunch.
we thought it would be a nice surprise if we called her sister in italy. she hasn't spoken to her since september because of being in the hospital and then the home so wouldn't that be lovely? well, it was and of course there were a few tears. I can only imagine what it would be like to speak to your sister half way around the world and know that you would never see her again. the next call was to dad's brother and again more tears, but it was wonderful to speak him and then it was time for lunch.
all went well and then dan had to leave to join his dad for their family festivities. we talked about our trip and laughed about our spanish classes. had coffee and dessert. I could feel that elephant in the room. I knew it was coming and I wanted to scream just talk about it already! and then it came. why can't I go home for three days? she started to cry. shots were fired at my dad about not wanting her anymore and the doctors didn't say that she couldn't go home. we are all liars. oh my, dad got upset and headed for the porch for a smoke. I tried to tell her - again, dad cannot take care of you by himself mom. we have today and tomorrow we are having lunch again. please be happy with what we have. and then she just wanted to go to bed. so bed she did while the three of us vented about our worries and woes. it was all just so upsetting. I should add that I started the day off with a migraine and a stomach ache and it wasn't looking good, but I knew I had to make to mass.
so off the family went for mass and when we arrived the only seats left were in the back of the church. my parents have always sat five pews back since I can remember. change is bad for them, but we made the best of it. the mass began and half was in english and half was in italian. I had trouble distinguishing which was which because father had such a strong accent. I tried to keep up, but then I caught sight of a pamphlet talking about revisions. WTF? revisions? they went and changed things up on us since last christmas. I began cramming. then the choir started up and man we were certain that the leader was a last minute fill in cause he was so off key that everyone was rolling their eyes. being the good catholics that we are we felt that we needed to pick up the slack and so we started singing at the top of our lungs. some in english and some in italian of course. now I am no celine dion but I took one for the team. when it was english michael was the soloist and italian I was it. one lady almost snapped her neck to look back and see what the hell was going on. hey lady have you not noticed that the guy sucks? it is god's will that we make this singing as pretty as possible. your welcome.
during the homily there was something about "don't be a fired" which we interpreted as "don't be afraid", but don't be fired was funnier. then something about the sin of abortion at which point I look at michael and say "huh?" and this child was saved. saved? wasn't he a miracle or something? it was a good thing, right? why are you tainting poor mary who had nothing to do with it apparently? she was just the chosen one. then something about her and joseph never having marital relations. uh, ya, it was immaculate conception, right? where did they find this guy? I was beginning to think he was a last minute fill in as well. then there was the part about the diapers being given the children. what? then all of the sudden in the most inappropriate part we were on our knees. this caused such a commotion that the kneeling bench came crashing down on michael's injured toe and then all of the sudden we were standing again. I grabbed the revision booklet to check if that was in there. boy were we busy! stand up, sit down, sing, pray, hold mom up, calm dad down, share a giggle and then mom decided to tell me a story right in the middle of it all. ya, so yesterday at the home they had a mass, but it was a different...hey ma? kind of in the middle of mass right now could we file that thought for later? then it came time to leave and mom says don't forget the bulletin. well, father was parked right in front of the bulletin table so what the heck I shook his hand and wished him a merry christmas. had time allowed I would have probably said something along the lines of "father I really didn't understand mass at all tonight" but I was hoping that there would be a summary in the bulletin or something.
so that's our crazy night before christmas. stockings are hung by the chimney with care waiting for santa to fill them. milk and cookies (shit) toast will be out for him. we wish you all a merry christmas and a good night.