I was visiting my good friends Joe and Dee at their home in Massachusetts. I had assisted at their wedding and I was pleased to be with them and their children Faith (then 7 or 8 years old, and Ben, aged 3).
I slept in their newly created family room in the basement of their home.
Joe and Dee forewarned me that the three year Ben was more than likely to be up and about before the skylarks, and that proved to be the case.
It was at about 6:00 a.m. or 6:30 a.m. that young Ben came down to the basement and announced that he wanted to talk with me.
I was still sleepy, so I asked Ben to sit on the stairs and wait until I was ready to chat.
That he did. But every half-minute or so he let out a deep sigh. I gave into the inevitable and invited to sit with me on the edge of the bed and chat.
In the course of this chat the three year old Ben said: "Father Michael, you are really quite plump and chubby". I almost died with laughter.
That story has entered into the family lore of Dee, Joe and their family. It has been told over and over again, and Ben knows it well.
Fast forward to Thursday 20th Feb 2014 when
Joe, Dee, Faith and Ben were on holiday at Marco Island here in South West Florida.
We decided to hook up for dinner in Punta Gorda (roughly half way between Marco and Sarasota).
We did so and had a lovely reunion and meal.
I had decided to wear a name tag.
Joe spotted it first. He laughed out loud.
I asked him to "keep quiet" for a while.
Some ten or fifteen minutes into dinner young Ben ( now almost 15) spotted my name tag. Now it was his turn to"almost die" with laughter.
Here it is:
I love being silly!