For a variety of reasons the weeks leading up to this big day have been hectic, and I have not been able to put a lot into planning a big celebration for my boy. My husband's siblings were all in town from various cities across the country two weeks prior, which also happened to be the week that we got chickens - ten of them. The week after his siblings left, his beautiful grandmother who had been ill for some time took a turn for the worst, and passed away. We were very blessed to spend so much time with his family remembering her beautiful life, and her funeral took place three days before his First Communion.
My husband (who had been devoting all his spare time to building a chicken coop to house the birds that have temporarily taken up residence in our basement) had some errands to run the morning before the First Communion, and brought our son along to buy a new suit for his big day. I was so happy he was able to do that! I thought at least if we can't get him anything else, a new suit is special. I hoped he would agree, that he would feel special.
The evening before his big day, one of my closest friends was celebrating her birthday. As we couldn't find a babysitter only one of us could attend, and I was so torn about whether Jeff or I should go. Grief-ridden over still not having been able to do anything really big for my boy, I chose to stay home and concentrate on preparing properly for his special day (which was also Mother's Day, did I mention that?) - laying out clothes, making a card (because I didn't have a chance to get out and buy one), and preparing gifts for my mother and mother-in-law. As I got things together, I instantly felt guilty that I didn't have a small something special (a plaque, a rosary, a pin) to include with his card. My heart sank, and I hoped he wouldn't notice and feel that we didn't care. I didn't want this to be a day that just snuck up on us - and it wasn't. In all the right ways, we had prepared. We had been studying together all year (we homeschool, and catechism is part of our curriculum), we talked often as a family about the Eucharist and what it means to receive the Lord for the first time, met with our parish priest several times, attended the practice run and class with the cathechism kids, and we have been praying. That evening in a panic, I prayed that was enough. That all the interior work we had been doing until now was enough to make him feel special.
Looking back over the events of the week, I can really see the Lord's wisdom in allowing things to happen as they did, and I am truly grateful. Instead of planing a lavish gathering à-la-birthday party (which this clearly was not) we spent the weeks prior to his First Communion living and celebrating life in the very best ways, with the people who are most dear to us. In the same week that his Great-Grandmother went to be with our Lord, our son received Him in the Holy Eucharist for the first time - and on Mother's Day! I could not have coordinated a better celebration of such an important day if I tried. And God knows that.
Thank you Lord for the gift of children, the beauty that is growing up, and blessing of family. May Your presence live within all of us as we continue on this journey, and burn especially bright within my son and all who made their First Holy Communion with Him. May they never forget how this day feels, as they continue to become the men and women You call them to be.
|So happy for my boy!|