|Not feeling so well...|
Several Fridays ago, he was feeling a bit under the weather. The day before he had taken a nap after getting home from school, which was a telltale sign to begin with, since he never takes a nap, especially when it takes time away from his knights and Legos! That night he hardly ate and, when he woke up saying his head hurt and threw up his breakfast (on our dining room rug!), my wife and I decided that he should stay at my parents' house (Not that it takes a brain surgeon to figure that one out!).
Only there was a minor hiccup. Every Friday, I serve as the lector at the morning Mass at my parish and I would have to take him to church before I was able to drop him off on my way to work.
So, I took him with me and sat him at the very front pew of the church and told him that if he felt sick, he had to go to the bathroom, which was nearby. He nodded his head, as he looked at me with sad puppy-eyes, and I kissed him and hurried back into the sacristy to get ready for Mass.
Shortly after the Mass began, I took a glimpse his way and noticed a look of consternation on his face; sort of like the look of distress a man past his 40's gets when he goes in for his annual checkup and the doctor slips on a rubber glove. But, he was sitting there quietly and with his head resting on the side of the pew, so I was hoping he would make it through the 25-minute liturgy.
I did my readings, sang the Alleluia and then stepped down from the ambo to give way to our pastor for the Gospel and homily. After, he finished, I took another look at my son to see how he was doing. He had the same distressed look but was still sitting there quietly and I prayed for him to feel better.
We were in the home stretch, the liturgy of the Eucharist. Just a little while longer and we would be home free (I realize it's not the best approach to have during Mass but, with my son on the verge of tossing his cookies at a moment's notice, I was just counting the minutes!).
As the priest began the consecration of the Holy Host, the pinnacle of the Eucharistic celebration, I glanced over from my kneeler, and my son made a gesture, as if something was coming up from within (In fact, his cheeks filled with air) and he looked at me in total panic. I started shaking my head and mouthing, "No!" and "Go to the bathroom," as he continued to gulp. He mouthed back at me, "I can't!," as he placed a hand over his lips. I kept shaking my head and mouthing, "No, no, no!" It must have been quite a spectacle for the parishioners!
Then, as if conjuring up the spirit of Linda Blair in The Exorcist, as the priest held the Sacred Sacrament in his hands and finished the words of consecration... projectile!
I felt like Mr. Bill from the old Saturday Night Live show, thinking, "Oh, Nooooooo!" It was as if time stood still, and, in slow motion, I saw the watery substance shoot out of his mouth and douse the floor in front of him, as he stood there motionless, looking at me with his mouth open and saliva dripping from his lips. Poor little guy! But, I couldn't help him.
Fortunately, an elderly lady sitting behind him saw the whole episode and handed him some Kleenexes from her purse.
I'm not sure if the priest noticed what was going on but the rest of the Mass, I kept thinking that someone was going to walk in front of him, after receiving Communion, and slip like the heavy-set girl dancing Beyoncé's Single Ladies on a coffee table on YouTube.
Thankfully, nobody fell or that might have been the end of my lectoring days! And, I won't bore you with the details of round three in the car, as we were about to get to my parents'. Suffice to say, thanks God for dry cleaners!...