The worst part of any family gathering, such as the one we had today when Mark’s parents made a pit-stop on their way to London shopping, is when parents start to recite cringeworthy anecdotes from one’s childhood. At some point, it seems, there’s always a moment when naked baby pictures are passed around for merriment and embarrassment.

Mark’s mother had found old video recordings of Mark when he had been a choir boy, and she had the bright idea to share those things with me. Now, Mark was a competent child singer. Not the best, nor the worst. He still likes to join in with me, and he doesn’t sound too bad. But he was never a prodigy child soprano. He was a face in the crowd behind the lauded child soprano.

Since Mark’s mother knows I like to sing, she tried to have me volunteer to do so for a function around Christmas. I’m sorely tempted, I have to admit, but there’s only two problems. One, it’s for her parish. Second, I have to do liturgical music. I’d have loved to sing Pogues’ ”Fairy Tale of New York” to a bunch of stuck up Anglicans, but alas…

We have this unspoken compromise going, Mark and I. I don’t rag him about being this wishy-washy Christian that believe in ”something”, unclear what. He doesn’t try to involve me. For all except for a miniscule amount of time, it never come up between us, because it’s not important. That’s why at this time of the year he goes off with his mother and relive his choir boy days without any singing. And he knows my heathenism well enough not to try to involve me, unless I volunteer myself.

It seems like accepting to be part of the entertainment at his mother’s parish functions is edging a bit close to making that compromise, unspoken or not, less relevant. I want to keep the balance going there. Even though the idea of covering Pogues in front of a gaggle of shocked religious folk is tempting…

Now, while Mark is doing the dishes, I’m going through these disks with that eleven year old choir boy I happened to marry eventually. It’s actually quite cute, but don’t tell Mark I said that. This is ammunition, and I can live a long time on teasing him about this. 🙂

Tomorrow starts my last week of commuting for this year. You won’t believe how pleased I am about that. Last week was incredibly busy when all the little threads and strands that had been left over during the year were systematically tied up, sorted, and archived away.