My youngest and most male cousin was hauled up on stage in front of a bemused congregation at church this morning. The visiting minister, who does go on a bit (which was a bit of a worry for me as I had band practice this afternoon, and was preparing by singing elaborate harmonies in the hymns...), evidently wanted to get the children involved in the service, and so up they came, and an explanation of what they had been doing at Sunday School was demanded of them.
They had been making hearts. Paper hearts. For what purpose? I don't know. They didn't seem to know themselves, which was slightly worrying. Still, I'm a bit relieved that my cousin's heart was at least a bit traditional. For the story of the Prodigal Son a couple of months back he drew the killing of the fatted calf, so at least it wasn't that. His heart was depicted with cracks in it, but at least it was safe.
He wandered past me after the service, swinging his paper heart from his hand. I was hovering nervously about, trying not to look too agitated or unsocial; various members of my family had offered to drive me home and yet here they were, sipping tea and eating biscuits. (I was so nervous I only ate three biscuits.) There was a slight popping noise, and I looked around to see my cousin holding his paper heart in one hand, and the string from which is was dangling in the other.
"I've broken my heart," he said to me with a big grin on his face.
"Yes, that's happened to me a few times," I said.
But I had just as big a grin on my face too. And as I glanced at his mother, my aunt, over his shoulder, I could see the look on her face registered the fact that I was, at the time, about as far from heartbreak as you could possibly get.