Wil has a thing for one of the cantors at church. He idolizes her. He has watched her with rapt attention for so many years now, that he can imitate her in such a way that when she is up there, it feels like she is imitating him. It's really true, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
Two weeks ago he got it into his head that she simply had to read "our book." "CARE! WE NEED TO GIVE HER A BOOK SO SHE WILL KNOW ME BETTER. SHE DOESN'T KNOW ME VERY MUCH. LET'S GIVE HER A BOOK SO SHE WILL KNOW ME BETTER!"
He signed the book himself, "I think you are the best music leader in church history," then he wrote his first, middle and last names. The end result was a title page filled with letters and no clear path through them. I translated on a Post-it and stuck it inside the jacket. We marched ourselves to church early that Saturday evening. She wasn't there. It was the other cantor's turn (who has already read the book), whom you might recall doubles as his case worker because, say it with me, there are no accidents.
Thus began his all-out, week-long recruitment process to get everyone and their mother (literally) to church at 10:30 Mass the next week. He was betting on the cantor leading the choir at that service, and he wanted a full church when he presented her with our book. I cannot tell you how many people came up to me at church last week and said, "Wil told me to be here, so I am."
Thankfully, the plan paid off, and she was there. We gave her the book before Mass started, she asked if she could give Wil a hug, he obliged, and she thanked us both profusely. Early this week we received a very sweet thank you note in the mail. "CARE! OUR PLAN IS WORKING! SHE IS GETTING TO KNOW ME BETTER! SHE IS READING THE BOOK!"
He was higher than a kite yesterday in anticipation of going to church last night and seeing if she'd finished the book. We were greeters, and as we stood at the door and welcomed people, again the church filled up with people he'd arranged to be there. At the sign of peace we ambled over to the cantor and she again hugged and thanked us. "I haven't finished the book yet," she said, answering his next question before he asked it, "but I'm about halfway through, and I love it."
He grinned all the way back to his seat before saying in a too-loud-for-church voice, "Care! Our plan is working! She's reading the book! She is getting to know me better! The book is really paying off!"
Then I sat down in my seat, bowed my head and offered a silent, "Amen."