By Linda Ibbitson Hurd
Special to the Express
When my siblings and I were growing up in the 1950s and ’60s, our mom was a Sunday school teacher at Hanson Baptist Church. Every Sunday the four of us kids went to church with her.
One particular year, when my sister Barbara was 4, brother David 7, sister Penny 10 and I was 13, we were all up and getting ready for Sunday school and church – that in itself was an effort for a family of six with one bathroom and Penny and I fighting over the mirror. Our dad was a Deacon of the church but rarely went. He said it was okay with God if he stayed home and fixed what needed to be done while it was quiet.
It was also Mother’s Day and our mom looked so nice in a navy-blue suit, white blouse and navy and white high heels.
My brother had made her a hat in Sunday school the week before out of a white paper plate with all kinds of colored macaroni glued to it. A pretty blue satin ribbon was attached to either side of the plate which mom tied under her chin. We all piled into our Buick sedan dressed in our Sunday best.
Mom solved the problem of us arguing over who would sit in the front seat with her by proclaiming only the youngest got that spot. She also put an end to any arguments about who sat by the window seats in back by telling our brother it was safest for him in the middle, as Penny and I were bigger and older.
Once we arrived at church, we all went to our Sunday school classes and Barb was delivered safely to the children’s room until it was time for the church service.
I was in charge of getting the four of us to the Sanctuary after Sunday school was over. Mom was waiting for us at the Sanctuary door hat in hand. My brother pointed out she had taken it off. She graciously retied the hat and we went in to sit down. I noticed other moms also donned their white paper plate hats and I remember feeling admiration for them. My brother was so proud!
Mom seated us in the pew with her on one end with Barbara beside her and me on the other end with my brother between Penny and me. It worked perfectly as we both liked him but didn’t think too much of each other at our ages.
It was a Communion Sunday and Barbara kept wondering what the tiny glasses in the holders on the back of the pews were for. She looked at them and up at mom but mom pressed her fingers to her lips which meant “Be quiet”.
As the service progressed and it was time for Communion, I watched Barbara looking at everyone taking it all in. When it was all over and a second collection plate was passed in the quiet and solemn hush of the meaning of the moment, Barbara’s clear little voice pierced the silence, “was that to pay for the drinks?”
By Linda Ibbitson Hurd