Sunday, May 15, 2011

Mary Poppins and the Pretending Pastor

The whole cruise I kept teasing my mom.  I wanted to buy her a manicure or pedicure, a facial or a massage for Mother's Day, but every time she refused.

"Why?" my Viking father asked.

"Because I had all that stuff done before we left, so I could relax here."

I had to admit, she did look perfect in every way, just like Mary Poppins.  Part of me always wondered if she inspired that story.  There's just something magical about my mom AND her ability to raise winners.  Sure I don't think she's ever owned a dress exactly like the one shown below, but she has some traits that are JUST LIKE Poppins!

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She has brown hair, blue eyes.  I saw her by a lamb once (it wasn't an illustration, but it was still a lamb!)  Plus, my mom has this huge purse that can hold the world inside of it.  Whenever she opens the thing, I'm always expecting her to pull out a lamp or a hat stand.  It's the most absurd thing you've ever seen in real life!


So, to top off all that perfection--because you know someone's truly perfect when they have a Poppins' purse--my mom is sweet and gorgeous too.  I've written about that before.  She was the beauty queen for her entire county.  Her talent was playing the drums.  Picture this . . . someone as awesome and polite as Mary Poppins, playing the drums better than Animal on the Muppet's or Tool's drummer, Danny Carey.

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My mom will sit down at the drum set, smooth back her immaculate hair, pull her skirt up so she can reach the pedals and go to town making beats you've never dreamed of.  My mom's in her sixties, she looks like she's in her early fifties, but when she plays those drums, her spirit shines like she's younger than me.

I love that woman and am super protective of her; I think that's why things went so poorly when we met the Pretending Pastor.

When we got on the airplane to fly home, my mom, the baby and I sat next to a nice Japanese lady.  We'd just barely found our seats, when I watched a handsome man pass by the four of us.  His conniving eyes lingered on my drumming mother for a moment, then he took his seat which was rows behind us.  Now, I'm not sure how he did it, but somehow he traded seats with several people until he'd found a way to trade with the Japanese lady next to us.  Before we knew what hit us, that man in his fifties, slithered into the seat next to my mom!

"I've always loved window seats," he said smoothly.

"And I'm just happy as long as I'm toward the front of the plane," my mom said.


Somehow they continued talking, him eagerly and my mom politely.  "Thank you, Jesus," my mom said when the babies handled the take-off well.

"Did you just say, 'Jesus?'" the man asked.

My mother nodded.

"What are the odds," he said.  "I'm a pastor!"

Really?  I nearly groaned.  If he was a pastor than I was a famous musician!

"When did you meet Jesus?" my mom asked

"You first, when did you . . . meet Jesus?"

"Well, I've loved Him since the 70's.  I guess it started before that, but I gave my life to Him in the 70's."

"Me too."  He smiled so wide I saw his white teeth.  He had a strong jaw and a romance cover face, but I'd had enough of his act.  I cleared my throat.

"Really?" I eyed him sceptically.  "What do you think about the book of Acts?"

We stared at each other.  I thought of my Viking father at the back of the plane.  I wished he would come up and pummel the Pretending Pastor.  My mom smiled, having no idea the guy was a wolf!

"So," I prodded again. "The book of Acts?"

"That's actually . . . the book that brought me to Jesus." 

"And First Samuel?"  I folded my arms.

"I always liked . . . Samuel.  The book brought me to Jesus . . . too."

"Really?" I glared.

"Samuel was . . . a strong tool of the Lord."

Yeah, I'd met "tools" before.  I thought I was looking at one, but my mom still had no clue.  The only person she seemed upset with was me.  She gave me "the look," the one that means I'm not being polite.  I remembered that look from when I was two. 

My mom gave me "the look" again, then turned to the man.  "He was a strong tool.  How wonderful to be dedicated to the Lord at such a young age."

I shook my head and patted Dr. Jones (my one-year-old) who my mom held.  That's when the baby suddenly reached for the con-artist.  What was going on?  Did she like him too?  Had everyone bought his lies?  My mom actually gave that man MY BABY.  "I need to get some gum anyway, do you mind?" she asked.

"You gave him the baby?" I said into my mom's ear.

"He's a pastor," she whispered back. 

I rolled my eyes at the man.  He held the baby as far away from him as he could.  He treated her like a deadly animal and showed me more than his words ever could.  I know it was horrible, but I prayed for the baby to puke on him.  I prayed that my sweet child . . . would poke him in the eye, punch him in the face, let out a Number Three OR SOMETHING.  Instead, Dr. Jones just kept reaching for him even though she was so far away, she just swatted at air until she turned and broke the TV Screen in front of the man's seat.

My mom gasped, and stopped going through her purse.  "Oh, my.  I'm so sorry."

"Sure," he laughed.  "You somehow get a nice man to sit by you, then want him to babysit and now he gets to pay for a damaged TV screen?"

"Do you always refer to yourself in third person?" I mumbled.  "If you would have held her like a regular person . . ."

"What?" he asked.  "Did you say something?"

"Nothing.  I just wanted to show you . . . "  My mom still had her purse out because she couldn't find any gum.  That's when I got a great idea.  I stuck my hand into the Poppins' purse.  My mom's eyes went wide as my arm disappeared inside the purse.  "Wait, I'll find it . . . I'll find it," I said.

"Find what?" I know my mom wanted to deck me. 

"I'll find . . . how much stuff do you have in here?  Oh, there . . . there it is!"  I pulled them out--two passports.  "I'm so glad I saw you put these in there."  So, while the man still held my baby, I opened up the two passports.

"What a nice picture.  It's beautiful."  He pointed to the picture of my mom and I instantly closed that passport and shoved it deep in the bottom of the purse.  "Not that one.  This one.  You see this man?" I opened to the first page.  "This is my father.  He's a tough guy, the kind you don't want to make mad.  Some people even say he's as strong as a Viking.  He," it was time to pull out the big guns, "He has a Harley."

The man turned a bit lighter, but not enough.  "You wanna know the greatest thing about my father though?" The man didn't respond.  "It's that he's sitting on row eighteen.  He's sitting in this very plane.  I bet he'd love to talk to you . . . about religion . . . and things."  The man turned completely white.  He instantly gave the baby back, and after we told the stewardess about the TV screen and she'd somewhat fixed it, the pretending pastor pretended to fall asleep.

"What got into you?" my mom asked after we got off the plane.

"That man was hitting on you.  Didn't you hear him saying how beautiful you are?"

"He was just being polite."

"Ummm . . . no.  It's a good thing I was there to look after you."

She laughed so hard.  "I'm glad you're so protective, but did you see his face?  I still can't believe you pulled out dad's passport."

"Well, sometimes you do what you have to.  That creep's just lucky he didn't meet dad.  If he had, more than first Samuel would have changed his life."

My mom laughed really hard.  "Sometimes it's nice knowing that your kids are watching out for you."

"You bet they are," I said and my mom hugged me.



So, my question for today is:  
What would you do if someone hit on your parents?  Did I do the right thing?