I know you're hardly able to carry on with your Christmas preparations, what with all the nail-biter cliff-hangers I've left you with, therefore, I'll fill you in on what you've missed.
Let's start with my role as the Eucharistic Minister, shall we? Let's just say I was incredibly nervous. I'd studied, read and re-read my list of instructions, and went through the process in my head multiple (like OCD) times. I asked to do the cup because I was way too nervous to try to do the bread, and give non-bread takers a blessing. It may take me months to work up to that one. When it was over, and I polished off the rest of the wine that was in my cup (per instructions), I put it down, bowed before the Tabernacle with the other servers, and sat down with waves of relief. Then, I didn't give it another thought (other than, phew!).
Mass was almost over, we were singing the song of sending forth, and the woman sitting in front of me turns around and says, "Aren't you supposed to be up there?" I'd totally forgotten that I needed to recess with the other servers, the priest, the deacon, and all the other VIPs, such as myself. I was mortified, but able to nearly sprint up there, do a quick bow just as I heard the cantor (Rojo's DD caseworker) say, "Verse one again." I'd taken so long to get up there, they'd run out of music. Everyone was waiting for me. Like, nightmare time, when the whole crowd is watching you screw up and things move in slow motion. Truly, horrifyingly embarrassing.
I haven't quite recovered. But here's the thing. We always sit in the same spot, way in the back on the right. This time, before church, Rojo had informed us we were sitting in a different place, behind two of his faves. If we hadn't sat there, I wouldn't have had the woman sitting in front of me that told me to get up there. No accidents. Still, it's a scene I keep replaying in my head, and no amount of STM telling me nobody noticed, will erase the moment of horror.
On a brighter note, the visit to Santa was as easy and pain-free as such a thing can be. We bolted to the mall after school, got in line behind about four other families. They were all so engrossed in grooming their (small) children and selecting photo packages, they didn't pay us much attention at all. The "elf" did look at us a little strangely, but I shut her down and informed her we were "just visiting," and were not going to be purchasing a photo, let alone a whole set of them. I told Rojo he didn't have to sit on Santa's lap, he could just go up to him and talk.
Rojo had spent the whole car ride, walk through the mall and standing in line time, debating on what to ask for. I thought we'd had that settled, he'd told STM he wanted pineapple licorice. Then he changed his mind to Thera-putty, then as we were walking through the mall and I pointed out the store where we were going next for jeans, he said, "Maybe I'll just ask for jeans."
So, that is how my 16-year-old stood near Santa, pointed to his jeans and told him he'd like a new pair, only longer, as he'd grown since the last time he'd seen him. "That couldn't have gone any better," he said when we were done. A few minutes later he said, "I don't think he recognized me."
"No, he may not have," I said, "but that's because you've changed so much since last year."
But really, he has only changed on the outside, inside he's still the sweet, innocent, thoughtful, grateful, easy-to-please boy, we all know and love.