Sunday, July 09, 2006

S. and L. Go to a Funeral

Mr. W's uncle passed away last week, and the funeral was yesterday. I really did not want to go. More precisely, I did not want to take the girls. Mr. W. had been asked to serve as a pallbearer, so it would have been just me and the girls during the service. Toss in a two and a half hour drive each way, and I was convinced that we had a monumental disaster in the making. S. can be, how shall I put this, a bit of an inquisitive banshee. Visions of her screeching and asking difficult questions during a solemn funeral service pounded through my brain. Revival of evening 'Am I going to die?' 'Are you going to die?' question-and-answer sessions loomed on my horizons. I was also very concerned about the graveside service and the extreme Texas heat. L. growing restless and screeching during the service was icing on the cake.

Fortunately, I was blessed with two wonderful bits of advice and an extremely helpful sister in law who dotes on her nieces.

My mother, noting that S. has attended church services since infancy, recommended that we speak of the funeral as a special church service. S. never thought to look up at the casket up front, because she was too busy looking at the pretty colored lights. She especially liked the blue ones. Since the service strongly resembled a regular Sunday service, she never asked a single question. Well, she did ask me which color light I wanted and if we could have lights like that in our house.

My very best friend essentially told me that since I was pretty well committed to going, that I needed to suck it up and change my attitude. After whining to her about how awful this little trip was going to be, I decided she was right. A short conversation with Mr. W. cleared the air, and I forcibly reminded myself to be upbeat.

My lovely sister in law rode with us and even kept S. when I had to scoot out of the chapel after L. went into her rendition of 'Screeches With Owls.' S., who weighs a ton and a half, fell asleep right after L. and I headed out, and auntie actually carried her out of the chapel and stood around with her for a good ten minutes before we found each other again.

The graveside service was miserably hot, but we found a bit of shade. L. behaved impeccably, and S. napped during the final good-byes. Both girls waited very patiently while familiar and stranger family members stood around talking.

After 20 minutes or so talking in the sweltering heat, we were invited to Mr. W.'s cousin's house. We stayed for a good two hours while Mr. W. and his extended family caught up with one another. Both girls were impeccably well-behaved. I have never seen (and may never see again) the pair of them act so well. There was no screeching, no pushing, no yelling, no breaking of ANYTHING, good table manners, S. and L. were both friendly to people who were essentially strangers.

S. even behaved herself on the drive back home. Typical tired S. behavior usually involves random fits of screaming and yelling during car rides. Not once did we have to ask her to use her inside voice. Of course, I credit Chick Fil A for a big part of that peace and quiet. S. found a CD of short stories in her kid's meal at lunch, and thoroughly enjoyed the stories. Enjoyed them enough that we heard the entire thing a couple more times today too, but that's all right.

I am still beaming after all the compliments about how beautiful and well-behaved my girls are.



Mayberry said...

Huge sigh of relief... glad everything worked out OK. Sometimes the little buggers surprise us!

Gretchen said...

Glad to hear it all worked out!

Keith said...

That is exactly unlike the way my kids acted at my mom's wedding.