That was an interesting experience.
Today was the harvest festival, so H and I arrived with a tin at the methodist church where she attends Rainbows. She was terrified, as were two of her friends that we’ve known since she was a baby.
Fortunately I can sit with the Rainbows as I’m helping out, so I had a chat with my terrified group of three, promised we’d all sit together and things would be fine, and decided to make them laugh.
“don’t tell anyone. I’m actually quite scared too…”
H clamped her hand over my mouth in embarrassment. “oh mummy!” she said, as I reminded her that I was in Rainbows mode, and can only answer to ‘Kangaroo’ (I do realise the pelvic floor implications of this name)
To which she clamped her hand over my mouth again – oh the embarrassment of it all. We all lined up and H went into the church with one of the girls while I looked the other, we all sat down together and by the end one of them said she enjoyed it “but it was a bit boring” (hey! that’s MY line!), we handed over our tins (I swapped mine so many times for various reasons, such as one girl didn’t like the tin, another was a bit sharp and she was trying to scratch her finger on it, another was just trying to open hers so we found one without a ringpull and so on – girls do seem to love the drama), and admired all our handiwork on a board at the side of the church, and actually. . .
It wasn’t so bad. The church isn’t for me, but I didn’t feel as awkward as I have in the past. Even if they did go and change the tune to the majority of the hymns. Fortunately when I was twelve or so, I was told by a schoolmate when we were having a ‘Bad Deed Week’ that I can’t sing. I took it to heart and tend to mime in public places. I tried to break free from the shyness and audition to sing in an indie band in 1988, but I couldn’t do it.
The children all behaved brilliantly, I ended up taking two of them for a mad toilet dash during ‘We Plough The Fields’ which was a relief as I could stay standing up – my back hurt today. H stayed behind and watched – she didn’t want to come with me. That made me really proud – she knew it was fine and knew I’d be coming back. Of course, I’m told they need the loo when we’re all doing the lords prayer. “hold it in! Not long now!” and so on. I felt like Julie Andrews doing all the wrong things at the wrong time and being a bit daft too.
Thing to remember next time – they do a collection. Of COURSE they do a collection, but when you haven’t been to church for over 30 years you forget this happens. So when the Rainbows next to you also have no money and you’re emptying the coins in your purse so everyone can join in, it doesn’t actually matter. Even if the change was around 12p each (I put in £1) the other Rainbows felt a part of it. I just thanked my lucky stars I had a purse full of change. Sorry church.