Pushy Broad

23 Feb

I have often been called a “pushy broad”. I’ve also been called several other things, but this is one of the few that are repeatable in polite society.

Sunday, we attended another church, just checking it out. If it weren’t almost forty-five NORTHEAST-stmaryanneminutes away, and involved $8 in tolls, we’d probably make it our home parish. A historical church with a largish congregation, but not so big you get lost in the shuffle, active chapter of the Daughters of the King, large ECW, and a youth group. It is located in a small town on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, and there is not much for the kids to do, so they started a chess club one night a month, and let the kids decide what to do the other three nights. At the moment, plans are afoot for ballroom dance lessons, so the youngsters will be ready for prom season. Even though we made it very clear that we were “just passing through”, we received a nice gift bag, with a copy of the church newsletter, pamphlets about the town and the county, and a lovely porcelain candy dish with a picture of the church – quite tasteful, and better than One More Coffee Mug.

The rector, when he did show up, spoke personally to everybody in the room, including The Squire and me. Nice touch.

Anyway, the coffee hour was (I assume) a bit nicer than usual because the bishop  was visiting, and several of the ladies had chased the younger kids away from the table with instructions to “wait for grace”. Two young men seemed to think this only applied when they were being watched, and I stepped up and gave them my best School Teacher Glare. A few minutes later, I glanced out the back door of the parish house to see if there was any sign of life at the Vestry Building, and somebody asked if they could help me. “Not exactly. We’ve been beating the kids away from the table with sticks, and I was just looking to see if the rector or the bishop way headed this way to say grace.”

“You’re right. Let me get the Senior Warden. I’m a little hungry myself.”

Once that was taken care of, one of the younger boys was loading his plate with French macaroons, and I reminded him that he was first in line and it would be nice to leave some for the other people. “You can always come back for seconds.”

One child in the congregation is autistic, but everybody seemed to keep an eye on him. As we were leaving, he was standing by the cemetery gate and I asked a man standing nearby if he would be OK. He looked around and replied that the child’s dad was “right over there”. I remarked that we take a “village approach” to kids in our church, and he agreed that was the best way. “I’d want somebody looking out for my kids if I’m not around, especially…” His voice trailed off and he nodded at the boy.

So here I am, a total stranger, trying to get grace said, bossing around the children in the parish, and asking if folks know how to tend to an autistic child.

Just being my usual pushy self.

 

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