Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Shay’s First Communion

Sunday was Shay’s First Communion here at the underground church, Our Lady of China. It was actually quite nice. About 15 kids participated in the ceremony, and afterwards we had a little party at a nearby restaurant. It poured all day long – not the best day for a celebration, I suppose, but then again, the kids didn’t complain as much about dressing up and going to church.

I surprised myself by getting a little teary-eyed when my baby boy stood up to read a prayer, and later when he actually received communion. I always thought I was a cynic. But somehow, it seemed so special to watch him do something that his father and I had once done, and that our parents and their parents likely did, too. It felt nice to know we were connecting him to something so much bigger than self.

I had been telling Shay all along that he had to go to “church school” every week until he got his First Communion. After that, I told him, it would be up to him to decide, in future years, whether he wanted to pursue his religious education or not. I guess I should have consulted my saintly husband on the topic. While we were driving to the restaurant afterwards, Bart mentioned that it was time to sign up for next year’s classes. Shay protested vociferously, saying I promised he wouldn’t have to go. I concurred. Bart said “I went to church school every year of my life until I got confirmed.” Guess that’s how he turned out so well. Still, Shay and I both convinced him that it ain’t likely to happen in this generation. That’s what he gets for marrying a heathen (well, a near heathen, anyway – I was never confirmed, either).

Some relatives sent cards; some even sent money. Shay was duly impressed – I don’t think he really understood that we considered this to be a very big moment in his young life until he read their cards and counted the cold, hard cash. He then started planning what he’d do with all that money, and decided “I’ll buy a game for my Nintendo and then I’ll try really, really hard to save the rest so I can buy a used car when I grow up.” I don’t know if the lessons of church school have stuck or not. But I was pleased to hear him thinking about saving money. That’s also a big step in life, wouldn’t you agree? We talk to him all the time about saving money versus spending – can it be he’s actually heard?

Once I get the photos from the event photographer, I’ll post something for you. In the meantime, enjoy this very funny shot of Kyra in her Sunday best:


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