They had need of me over to Conway this morning.
15 year old J couldn't get his tie done right. M asked me to fix it.
"I can't tie a tie," she said.
He had done a pretty good job. He just had it kinda twisted up. I pulled off my jacket, took the tie from him, tied it around my neck, then helped him get it over his head and under the collar.
Cinching it up his neck, forehead to forehead, I noticed that J is slightly taller than me now. He wasn't on Super Bowl Sunday when we put our backs to each other. Now he is. No wonder that boy eats like he is on Death Row. He's burning it up.
"Check the back of the collar, please," M sing-songs from the kitchen.
I checked the back of the collar. Pulled it down. Good to go.
"That's a button down collar," I said. "That means...."
" Oh yeah," he said as he tried to find the buttons. J has a lot of his Mom in him. Her grey-blue eyes burned out of her son's head as he fumbled to button the goddamn buttons.
I told him not to worry about it. After all, Carrie back at the office used to fix my collar and straighten out my tie all the time before I would head out the door. Sometimes you got to have somebody watching your back even with the nickel and dime stuff. Sometimes it's all nickel and dime stuff.
I have written many times that I have no use for Christmas and that while I don't know what all I believe anymore I do believe in the concept of Easter. I believe that victory remains in love. I believe in second and third chances.
M prepared a wonderful lunch for after church. After we had gathered around the table she asked if I wanted to bless the food. But I was afraid of a lightning strike. Besides it's her house and she is armed with an M.Div. and I am not. So I demurred.
She gave thanks for the food for the nourishment of our bodies. She gave thanks for our health. She thanked God for the gift of Easter and of His Son Jesus. And she gave thanks for "friends, family, love and new beginnings."
I hope it is not hubris to think that I might be granted a small portion of the "love and new beginnings" part of the blessing.
But all I believe in any more is Easter.
And I am so happy to share even a fleck of this "new beginning."