Take a little trip back in time with me. The year is 2003. Daisy (that's me) is 26 aeons pregnant with Mario. Ok. That is ridiculous. Of course I wasn't THAT pregnant. But, I WAS 42 weeks along and feeling pretty darn miserable. It was cold outside. Snowing, icy, windy... typical March weather. And, it was Ash Wednesday. As gigantic as I was, and as wretched as I felt, I decided that church was something necessary that evening. Zaza and Papa were there and were getting tired of waiting for baby. Bowser was doing his best to keep me happy and comfortable. Getting out of the house was probably a good thing for all of us.
So, everyone bundled up and headed out the door. Well, everyone but me. I went out in my shorts and t-shirt because for some reason, my internal body temp was about 487 degrees. The thought of a jacket was nauseating. We got to the church and it was crazy crowded. Crazy. Even the Catholics who don't regularly attend Mass, somehow always feel the need to go on Christmas, Easter, and Ash Wednesday. So, it was crowded. We found a pew in the back and managed to squeeze in. I sat on the aisle just "letting it all hang out," if you will. I vaguely remember a lady smiling and asking me when I was due, and Bowser and Zaza having to hold me back from ripping her face off.
Mass began. I was hot. I had to pee. I was starving. I silently begged God from my pew to "Please, for the love of YOU, get this baby out of me!"
And then, something magical happened...
No, I did not go into labor. But, at that moment, it was pretty much the next best thing.
The priest, a lovely little man from Vietnam, began his sermon.
"Today we gather here to celebrate Ass Wednesday..."
My ears perked up. Did he just say "ass?"
"On this day of asses," he continued, "we remind ourselves, blah, blah, blah"
I couldn't help it. I started giggling. Because, you know, I am 10-years old and if a priest says "ass" I am not going to be able to control myself.
He went on, "When we think of the asses....yadda, yadda, yadda..."
By this time, Bowser was giggling, too. We were starting to get some dirty looks from the people around us.
Father then said, "When we put these 'ASSES ON OUR HEADS,' let us be reminded... bleep, blop, blorp..."
And that was the end of me. I started laughing. Hard. And peeing, because you know, forever pregnant. Also crying, because I knew I shouldn't be laughing, which of course made it funnier, which, in turn, brought on the tears. The more I tried to keep it in, the harder I laughed. Even Zaza and Papa were fighting back smiles and snickers. What was even more amazing to me, was that no one else seemed to notice that our priest was talking about "Asses to Asses, and dust to dust."
I excused myself and waddled to the restroom to clean myself up and calm down. I somehow managed to make it through the rest of the service with only a giggle here and there.
I didn't know it yet, but church was just what I needed to break the tension and agony I was feeling that evening. The next day I went to the doctor and labor was induced. Within 48 hours of that service, I was holding my baby Mario in my arms.
When I went to the service this evening, with my now (nearly) 12-year old Mario sitting next to me, I still had to stifle a little chuckle when the Deacon talked about the importance of our "asses." I'd like to think Jesus giggled a little bit, too.
*Just as a disclaimer... I have been Catholic my whole life, so I do understand the solemness of Ash Wednesday. This is not meant to offend, it is just a funny story about how a priest unknowingly helped me out of my crazy state of mind so many years ago.