When I was a little kid, seemingly forever ago and only yesterday, Sunday morning was a big deal. My cousins and I spent almost every weekend at our grandparent’s house…so you already know the good times we would have. All of the lessons I didn’t learn from television, I learned from “Grandma and dem.”
Don’t be a tattle-tell. Clean up after yourself. Do the job right the first time or you’ll have to wake up at 4 in the morning to do it again. Everything you earn is better than anything handed to you. Hard head makes a soft bottom.
Sunday Morning was exciting though. We could hear our Grandparents waking up before the crack of dawn to do whatever it was they did to prepare the world for our awakened arrival. We knew it wouldn’t be long after that before they’d get us up to start the getting ready for church routine. I loved going to church! At school, I was an awkward kid: a little smarter than everyone else, less inclined to engage in hood shenanigans*, a momma’s boy, and generally confused about the ins and outs of social interactions. But at church I was awesome. I knew everyone and they knew me. I was involved in everything: youth choir, youth usher board, vacation bible school, all of the church plays and special programs. I was a star. Sunday morning meant going to church, the place where I was finally given some respect!
We’d load up in my Grandpa’s Cadillac and stop off at the local Hardees, where all of the employees happened to know him by name. He’d always order the sausage biscuit with extra gravy smothered over the biscuit. I can still taste the hash browns I’d get every week.
We had several rituals and habits that I won’t bore anyone with here, but the nostalgia I feel for playing the “Who’s the Turkey?” game with my cousins and grandpa sends shivers through my body.
That boy grew up into a teenager who couldn’t/didn’t spend weekends at his grandparent’s house. So Sunday Morning became something else for me altogether. It became the only time in the week my mother and I shared together, free from the stresses of high school and work, just the two of us. I still loved going to church, and I might as well had because you can believe I would have to go even if I didn’t. The only time we really talked to each other was during those short drives to and from church. Sunday morning meant connecting with the one person I had always loved even before I could form loving thoughts.
I didn’t know that losing my religion would also mean losing my Sunday Mornings. The rituals, the comfort, the connection, these things created me and now I’m creating something new. Sometimes on Sunday Morning I can feel the little boy who remains in this grown man’s body. He’s asking for consistency in practice, he wants to reach out and love something, he asks for pancakes to feel good. He’s a nice kid, not at all corrupted by the scars of life. I’m going to figure out how to feed him on Sunday Morning… I think he deserves it for sticking with me after all these years.
*(despite #TommyNeedsTwitter’s disbelief, yes I did grow up in the hood.)