Originally written 18 Nov 2000

I've often heard what I assumed was a sentimental phrase "Children are a humbling experience."

Tonight, I learned that there is nothing sentimental about this humiliation.

This weekend our Bishop, +Basil, is in town. He is a good speaker and has a good voice. Obviously, when chosing a Bishop, you don't choose the ones who can't think or speak, but from what little I've seen of this man, he does both quite well.

Tonight, he was leading our Vespers, the evening prayers. We brought the children in and the were relatively well-behaved during vespers. I took Basil (yes, my son, not the bishop) out once because he started whining, but that was about it. At the end of Vespers, +Basil spoke a bit about the hymn "O Gladsome Light" noting that it is the one of the earliest Christian hymn on record and that St. Basil in the late 4th century called it an "ancient Hymn", so you know it is old. He spoke with clarity and simplicity.

Afterwards, we tromped over to the hall for a Advent fasting pot-luck. Good food all over. I thought the kids were wearing themselves out while we ate, but it turns out they were just working themselves up.

After dinner, +Basil was doing a Q&A. There were Qs about what the church teaches on Hell, dogma, Salvation, and other basic things. It was interesting to hear him expound on these things and all I had to do was watch my son Basil run up and down the hall where (hopefully) his sounds were muted somewhat.

Finally, though, I had had enough and got my son to understand that he had to be quiet and sit down with us. At least I thought he understood. As I was listening and Basil finished up his Soy Drink, he decided to start sticking his fingers down his throat.

Great. Here comes the part with the humiliation.

Just in time Alexis told me to take Basil out. Despite her timely warning, Basil retched a five-foot trail of whatever he had been drinking onto the floor and my clothes. Embarassed, I took him back to the restroom to take off his clothes and clean him up. Alexis joined me in a bit and I left Basil with her and took the rags she handed me and went to clean up what was left of his mess on the floor.

As +Basil continued to answer questions, I scrubbed Basil's mess. At least everyone was facing the other way.

All was not lost, though. +Basil told Alexis and I what beautiful children we have. Well, one day that complement will get old. Not yet, though.