I’m getting excited about the church picnic this weekend. The church I’ve been going to was the product of a recent parish consolidation and is still recovering from an unusual mixing of communities, a new priest, and a loss of any sense of cohesion and community. Its kind of sad, really, to see these older people who have gone to the same church for decades and knew everyone as neighbors having to start over as strangers in a new (crappier) neighborhood. And I think I might have hurt the new priest’s feelings by taking babybot somewhere else for her baptism. But this weekend is another one of those awkward, forced, get-to-know-each-other kind of events they keep having. With free food, which is awesome.
I always wanted to be part of a church community, but I was never sure how to go about it. I attend, and I recognize a few people, but you don’t get to know people by standing behind them and mumbling prayers. I sometimes volunteer or join committees and that sort of thing, but I think I’m too much of a workaholic to make real friendships when I have a task to do.
Now I have a babybot. She attracts elderly church ladies like no body’s business. At a previous church I attended she launched herself at a sick old lady with an oxygen tank. I think she was trying to pull out the woman’s shiny plastic tubing, but the lady interpreted it as wanting to be held and got all teary-eyed, saying she couldn’t remember the last time a baby was excited enough to reach for her like that. I let her hold her for a while. They both liked it. At another church I attended she was the only child. Literally everyone there was twice my age, and we got the strangest looks walking in before I suddenly realized my baby was about to get mobbed by lonely old people. I’ve gone back a few times out of guilt, thinking that if they see babies once in a while maybe there will be some hope of keeping that grand old building open. Seeing no families, no youth, I have to assume before long they’ll be closing or consolidating, or whatever it is episcopals do when they lose to much of their membership to continue. It’s a shame. They’re nice folk.
Babybot makes friends everywhere she goes. And she can actually make it through a full-length sermon without crying. Hopefully the weather for this picnic is good so we can throw down a blanket and let her roll around outside. I’ve totally gotten myself sunburned this week. Probably shouldn’t scorch the baby.
And I have to bring something for the picnic, so I can show off my incredibly lazy fruit salad:
Mixed fruits as expected, with a can of peach pie filling mixed in. So it becomes a super-sweet glazed fruit salad. AND… whatever the heck pie filling is made from also keeps the more sensitive fruits from turning brown. So it looks nice and fresh all day.