Our newly appointed bishop, Bishop Burbidge, was stopping by Jack and Gus's school for a school Mass, a tour of the school, and lunch with the staff. Gus came came home last week and announced that for the Mass, he would be processing in with the Bishop holding a bouquet of flowers.
Gus: (sullenly) I was picked to carry the flowers for the bishop at Mass.
Jack: (brightly) Oh, Gus, you are so lucky to get to do such a special job!
Gus just grunted and scowled at the thought of having to bring up smelly "girl" flowers. To add insult to injury, he had to process in with, get this, A GIRL from the other kindergarten class. (The horror of it all!) He practiced with the teachers and the other children who had special parts in the Mass a few days before the Mass. I'd asked him how the rehearsal went, but Gus said it was "soooo borring!" Chris and I encouraged our little "crumudgeon" child and reminded him of what an honor it is to be selected for such a special event. "Not everyone gets to have such a special part" I said. After awhile, Gus began to like the idea of this job.
The morning of the big event, Gus dressed up in his best white and blue, slipped on his tennis shoes and ran off to the carpool. Chris, Henry and I drove down to the church and sat in the pew waiting for Mass to begin. I peeked over to the entrance of the church and saw Gus standing there proudly with an arrangement of yellow and green flowers (school colors). As the music began, Gus was directed to walk down the aisle. Sensing that hundreds of people were staring at him and his "girl" flowers, he rushed down the aisle, head downturned, and quickly set his arrangement down on the altar. Gus's sweet female classmate did the same, with much grace and drama, and the two of them turned to face the altar. They were clearly supposed to bow, but not knowing for sure, Gus instead rolled his eyes at the girl, shrugged his shoulders, and trudged his way back to his pew. I just laughed to myself and shook my head not knowing if I should be embarrassed or touched by the whole display.
After Mass, Gus beamed and waved excitedly at me from across the church, proud as punch of his accomplishment. I waved back, smiled and loved my son with every fiber in my being. I was the proud one.