Worship service ended in the usual way... The invitation was offered. The closing prayer was led. We stood up and apologized to those who were our unfortunate pew mates, for ruining the entire service. Of course, they smiled and said sweet words of encouragement, "Oh, we remember the days... This too shall pass... In the blink of an eye... I still remember the time when Lil' Johnny screamed the whole way out to the parking lot and everyone could hear him getting his whippin'..." We smile and continue apologizing, "Well, we just try not to lose our religion during church services with these four... Thanks for being so patient with us... Sorry Hail threw his sippy cup and hit you in the back of the head... FOUR times... in a row...."
With worn out smiles on our faces, exhaustion and starvation begin to set in, so Bert and I exchange glances that say, "Time to go, NOW." We gather our belongings and our children. I shovel the plethora of Bible story color sheets into my diaper bag, hand Hail to Bert, grab Lightning's hand, then the usual exchange occurs... Bert hands me his Bible. Normally, I take the beautiful navy blue Bible with our names inscribed in silver, (which was the gift I gave to Bert the night before our wedding) and put it into my diaper bag, along with four sippy cups, empty baggies of snacks, broken crayons and all the match box cars in the Land of Cotton. As my diaper bag begins to cut off circulation in my right arm, I try and book it to the car, so I can set down the over stuffed bag, and which ever child I'm carrying, and regain feeling in my arms.
That is on a typical Sunday, anyway. This particular day, was not going to be typical. I could tell that when I picked Thunder up from class and his teacher congratulated us on our "big news." "Huh?" I said, with a scared tone. "Yes," she continued, "Thunder stood up in his chair and announced that you had another baby in your tummy." Before I could choke, laugh and cry, she went on to tell me that they figured out quickly he was making the whole thing up since he said the baby should be here in about two weeks. Nice, Thunder.
No, on this seemingly routine Sunday, something snapped inside of me. It was as if, when Bert handed me HIS Bible, he was saying, "Here, even though I see you have a diaper bag that is so overloaded, an airline would not even accept that bag as a carry-on and would make you check it, then lose it leaving you to scramble your entire vacation, I still want you to stick one more thing of MINE in there and carry it for ME. Me=Caveman. You=Woman." I shoved the Bible, which is technically BOTH of ours since it does have "Bert & Holly Hudson" on the cover, back at him. Bert wrinkled his eyebrows, shrugged his shoulders, stuck the Bible under his arm, swung one of the bigger boys onto his back, flung Hail on his hip and casually asked, "What do you want for lunch?"
Oh, no he didn't! Not only did he not even acknowledge my feminist act, but he also forgot an apology. I grabbed Her Highness' hand and raced to the car ahead of Bert without answering his question. I sulked the whole way home, without Bert even noticing. He made jokes with the children and sang the zany songs they love. As we pulled into the driveway, I glanced over at Bert, who was belting out the final verse of "Down By the Bay" when I began to laugh to myself. Then out loud. "What?" Bert looked over at me. "Am I outta tune?" "Yes." I said. And pretended that's why I was laughing, making a mental note to forgive Bert for the crime he was unaware he had committed for years, but still promising myself to stick to my guns. No more Bible toting for the Mr.