My daughter and I went shopping yesterday. She needs some new clothes – how fast teenagers grow is a constant marvel to me, and the most efficient drain on a bank account you can think of.
Ours is a love affair, beginning to be tested by hormones – both arriving, and I’m certain of it – leaving, as is the age old way with mothers and daughters. The passing of a baton.
I’m not letting go of the reins so readily though. Armed with my youthful looks I think I can rock it for some time yet. So when I spotted a soft peachy oversized Mickey Mouse sweater on the sale rack, I pounced on it.
I adore this, I said. I’m really so very sorry about this pitifully embarrassing situation, child, but I have to buy it. OK? My daughter rolled her eyes, but into the basket it went.
I will wear it until the day I die. I might even wear it *as* I die, providing I can get it on quick enough before I whisper off to somewhere nicer. You can certainly bury me in it.
I wore it for church this morning, because this is Church in 2018. You can be who you like, and you don’t need a hat. My love affair with church is often rocky, and has been in choppy waters for some time, it’s true, but my little boat is still sailing. I’m not giving up. Maybe there’ll be a harbour round the headland, where I can moor up and get my feet on solid ground.
I’d like to meet some other lone sailors though – if you are one, navigating your boat through stormy seas of faith, please let me know. It’s lonely, and I’m often seasick! Or is it just sick to the teeth – not sure.
So there we were, my daughter and I, standing in church together, singing. Worshipping in fact, each in our way. I’ve got no problem with that. All of a sudden, a little hand snaked into mine and a little head leaned on my side. I almost cried for joy.
Here I am, I thought. In Church. Surrounded by friends, and loved, solitary as I am. Drawn here week by week by some irresistible force – the same force, I believe, that rolls out the heavens every morning. The one the trees worship. The one all animals are friends with.* And I’m wearing a jumper with Mickey Mouse on it.
Life is unfathomable. I’m in love with it.
I don’t want to die just yet, but don’t forget about the jumper, if I do.
*And if they’re not, then I just don’t know what to think anymore. They must be.