It’s on the tip of my tongue to chalk my collapsed defenses up to the potentially lengthy gap between this ritual and the next. But I don’t. I go on craning my neck as strenuously as my neighbour engaging me in parental small-talk . Enthusiastically we strain to nab a glimpse of little ones tucked under gowns and mortar boards. Defeated by the cuteness of it all, I quietly roll thought balls to toss indiscriminately overhead.
You have to hand it to the Church for pilfering the critical glass-clinking moments from cradle to grave. And Hallmark for making the most of the spaces in between. Cousin’s Day is an opportunity to pause and reflect, and remember how your parents would’ve preferred you had turned out. While nothing says ‘I Love You, Daddy’ quite like a little bear fridge magnet and a bottle opener in the shape of a football. It’s the small things that matter.
But it’s the big things that deceptively give the appearance of being small when really they’re just far away. It’s this apparent insignificance that continues to ripen. Always for the taking by the Cardinal sinned ever since they first flash-mobbed the corridors of our newborn sovereignty. And it’s this insignificance that’s the last cornerstone of Catholicism standing stoic as the once dominant moral policeforce lie dying in all but one Green Field.
It could’ve been worse. Posing as a bride of Christ pales in comparison to digging up the dead every few years for a boogie. And becoming one of God’s foot soldiers at 12 in exchange for a judiciously chosen name beats being drafted into the local militia. He who rules the world rocks the ritual. Those immune to the inherent need for celebration are not indigenous to this world. Let those who never felt a lump in their throat cast the first spray of confetti. Oh no, wait, they banned that a few years back. Sorry. Dems the man-made rules.
For many, the processional outings of their children are only days, far away. For others, far away days are weightless without context. Eventually we discover they’re neither. When they do come round, we find ourselves squaring reason with emotion before reconciling both with whatever ritualistic apparatus is available to us. The machinery that enables us to come together to raise a toast. And boast of unexpected enjoyment from it afterall.
Not for our one a bridal gownette, nor name-taking coercion further on. Perhaps a mild twinge of envy from her parents at the guaranteed calendar of events laid out for others. Meanwhile, nothing demonstrates the transition from nursery to primary school quite like the deafening rendition of I Can See a Rainbow and an inexhaustible supply of Monster Munch. Such hypocrisy. The parents don’t believe in giving children junk. But it’s just one day, right?
Class of 2016