Wednesday, March 5, 2014

When little things are actually a really big deal

I'm sure you've been there too. Those days when little things to the "typical world" are actually really big things in your house. For example, there was the day I asked Little Miss M to get her shoes and only had to ask once and she actually brought me shoes instead of a random object that had distracted her. We had one of these days recently, and it was such a special memory I wanted to share it.

The Husband and I were both raised Catholic, and with the Catholic religion come many Sacraments during childhood. The first is Baptism, which usually occurs in the first year of life and which the child has very little involvement in, minus the fact that they usually scream throughout the ceremony. Next comes their First Reconciliation and First Communion. In our church, these occur in the third grade. Little Miss M has been attending Sunday school weekly since the First Grade to learn about what she's expected to do and what all this religion stuff means. This year she is in the Third Grade and last week, she made her First Reconciliation.

For those who may not be aware, this is the fancy term for Confession. In very basic terminology, Catholic doctrine teaches that if we confess our sins to God through a priest, we can be absolved of those sins by doing an assigned penance. Try explaining this to a very literal eight year old who lives in the world of black and white. I was really concerned that she would have a very hard time talking to someone she did not know, focusing long enough to participate in the Sacrament, or truly understanding what she was being asked to do.

Once again, I was proven wrong. Little Miss M rose to the occasion with all the genuine devotion she shows to her life. She spent over a month learning and memorizing the prayer that she had to say at the beginning of the ritual, and although she may not have understood every word and concept of the prayer, nor did she pronounce every word correctly - she made it through. This was our first hurdle and I was already blown away by her.

Next, we had to conquer the anxieties and the fears of telling someone she did something wrong. Little Miss M never lies, and when she does something wrong, she is usually the first one to out herself. Imagine my surprise when she tearfully approached me a week before the big day saying, "Mommy, I really scared about Reconciliation. What if I lie?" I bit my cheek and choked down my laughter and asked her why she thought she would lie. She shrugged her shoulders and walked away.

The big day came, and she was nervous and excited, but a nicely timed Occupational Therapy session got a lot of her jumpiness out and she was actually able to focus. The Husband took her and said she did great. It was a long wait, and she sat politely and quietly the whole time. She went in to the priest by herself and made her confession. And while she won't tell me exactly what she said, I am shocked to see that the act seemed to have made some difference.

You see, I had mentioned to Little Miss M before she left that perhaps she would want to talk to the priest about her obsession with electronics. I think she must have, because she came home with a determination to not think about the iPad -- which of course only caused her to think about it more, but I appreciated the effort.

In most other households, this act of going through a Sacrament with the rest of her classmates and doing it pretty much independently, may go unnoticed. However, in our house -- this was a very big deal and I couldn't be prouder.

Amanda tries to embrace every accomplishment no matter how small they may seem, because in reality they aren't that small at all. 

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