There is nothing like being formally introduced to the members of Jacob's parish during his announcements as the love of his life when they're all aware he is recently separated. Somehow it's okay to people after he explains that we danced around each other's hearts for almost 10 years. Within hours I think everyone knew our history together and we were warmly welcomed officially, as I have been to the church many times before, just not with any regularity. That will change.
So most people knew me anyway. Or they knew of me. There was such a buzz in the sanctuary when he seated us at the front I feared a throng chasing me down with a scarlet letter was imminent. But it was a friendly throng, and I got a lot of over the pew shoulder pats, and people whispering their welcomes and smiling at us. It was difficult to carry out the conversations with leaning in quietly and whispering, as my hearing loss doesn't allow much room for large areas with lots of people. I mostly smiled and said thank you, for this is a very loving, supportive group that accepts everyone. Absolutely everyone. Even me.
Jacob had a hard time quieting everyone and finally asked them if they could wait and greet us at the end of the service, for Bridget has a hearing disability and would find it easier to talk aloud in the vestibule on our way to the luncheon. I sort of was grateful and wanted to kill him all at once, for I had been happily pretending I could hear everyone up until then. And cue the fresh round of sympathetic murmurs. They were killing me with kindness.
And with that Jake was on a roll. He's intoxicating to watch, if not because of his blonde good looks and conviction with which he speaks but because he is so expressive. His eyes, his hands are gesturing and he walks around a lot, he takes people's hands and speaks to them. He works his way around. He was born for this. He looks so adorable with the bangs and the sleeves rolled up to his elbows and his white button down shirt that he doesn't tuck in. Jeans. Jeans in church. Mom, take notice.
The lunch afterwards was so fun, with the men serving pancakes and strawberry shortcake and the children passing out nosegays of flowers to all the mothers. We all felt like queens. And I believe the oldest mother there was 93, bless her heart. She told me to be happy, for Jacob is a 'real catch'. Then she giggled, for he has that effect on women.
I assured her I was so very happy. And she squeezed my hand and said Good, dear. Good.
We left the park at suppertime, still stuffed, but we had planned to meet Trey at the house for dinner and bedtimes and Sundays are Jacob's busiest day so we left him behind. Trey brought flowers and wished me a Happy Mother's Day and produced these painted rocks that the kids had created back home at the beach. So cool! We're going to put them in the rock garden in the backyard today. We made a really light supper together and he read stories to the kids while I cleaned up. Once they were in bed he left and I had a few minutes to myself to read, which was nice actually. Private moments don't come by easily and the day was so free of the stress I feared it would be full of. Relief.
When Jake finally came back we made tea and sat in the porch and talked for a few hours. About everything, about nothing and about the day. It was surprising, enlightening and comforting. We've got a groove now finally and everything has ratcheted back to normal emotionally.
What a nice day.