Vinnie’s Mom and Dad are riding in the front seat. Vinnie is buckled in the back seat. Rupert is buckled in the seat next to Vinnie. Vinnie calls out, “Mom, Mom, Mom.”
“What is it, Vinnie?” answers his mom. She rolls her eyes already knowing what Vinnie is going to ask.
“Why do I have to go to the living nativity practice? Why, Mom?
Vinnie’s mom is ready. She answers, “Because Sister Janet scheduled it for 2:30 this afternoon. She’s expecting everyone to be there.”
“Why do I have to go, Mom? Why? We went to church this morning. Isn’t once enough? I didn’t think Mass was ever going to get over. Father was so boring. Rupert fell asleep. Why did the chorus have to sing every verse of the last song? Why, Mom?”
“Mass is long as it usually is and you sang every verse. You have a wonderful voice. Did I ever tell you about your beautiful voice?”
“I was only mouthing the words, Mom. I wasn’t singing. Why do they wait until Christmas to start singing Christmas carols? Why, Mom? Please, can I go with you and Dad? Where are you going? What are you going to do? I’ll be good. I promise. I’ll even leave Rupert in the car,” argues Vinnie.
Vinnie’s dad signals a right turn, He pulls in the church parking lot. He says, “Here we are. There’s Sister Janet standing in front of the door to the gym.”
“I owe you, dear,” says Vinnie’s mom touching Vinnie’s dad’s arm.
“What do you owe, Dad, Mom? Can I take Rupert with me? Please. Rupert will behave. I’ll talk to to him.”
“No, Rupert will go with Dad and me,” says Vinnie mom.
“That’s not fair, Mom. Rupert needs me. He doesn’t like to go anywhere without me. He’s my best friend. What if he gets lost if you go shopping? Are you going shopping? What are you going to buy?”
Vinnie’s dad pulls into a parking place. He says, “Here you go, Vinnie. Practice will finish at 3:30 we’ll be right in this spot waiting for you. Hurry on, Sister Janet is waiting for you.”
“We’re early, Dad. It’s only 2:15. Can I sit in the car until 2:30?” pleads Vinnie.
“Go,” demands Vinnie’s mom.
“Darn. Take care of Rupert. He’ll tell me everything tonight.”
“We’ll take good care of Rupert. We’ll even get him him a cake pop at Starbucks. You want one?” asks Vinnie’s mom.
“Gee, thanks, Mom.”
Vinnie got out of the car and ran toward Sister Janet. “Hi Sister Janet. I bet you’re happy I’m here. Right, Sister.”
Sister Janet pats Vinnie’s head, “Vincent, you’ll never know how seeing you makes me feel.”
“Thanks, Sister. I have some ideas what the donkey can say. You want to hear them,” asks Vinnie.
Sister Janet glances up toward the sky, then she turns back toward Vinnie, “Not now, Vincent. I’m sure you have good ideas. Run inside and wait with the rest of the children. I’m still waiting for Joey and Mary.”
“If Mary doesn’t show up, Sister, can I play Mary?”
“Sweet Mother of God,” said Sister Janet.