Yesterday was Little Miss M's First Holy Communion. She's been going to Sunday school weekly accompanied by my husband as her "helper." For months the kids have been learning about their faith, about the rituals of church and the importance of sacrament they were going to partake in. We bought the white dress, she attended the practices, she learned the prayers. Even with all of the preparation, I was still convinced that the crowd alone would be completely overwhelming. Every time we've gone to an actual mass, we've had some sort of meltdown—I was waiting for it. I kept expecting her to fall apart, for something to happen, and yet it didn't.
My girl taught me so much yesterday. She showed me that just because something didn't work yesterday, that doesn't mean tomorrow is an inevitable disaster. She showed me that with support, love and belief she could accomplish many obstacles. I was prepared for her to be in tears at some point, instead it was me that was reduced to tears while the baby slept on my shoulder. When Little Miss M stood up with the rest of her class and sang This Little Light of Mine at the top of her voice I was so overwhelmed and completely proud of her that tears streamed down my face.
Little Miss M kept it together for the whole mass. She proclaimed, "Amen," when necessary and stood with her hands clasped as instructed. My husband even did a little jig that she remembered to put the host in her mouth before walking back to her seat. One hour was her limit. I picked her up in the church hall and brought her outside into the sunshine. She smiled for pictures, she hugged her relatives, she was pleasant and so happy. At her request I had prepared a Mexican fiesta. She ate, she opened presents, she enjoyed her cake. During down time she requested to watch Blues Clues in her room and to play computer. I would have preferred that she socialize and play with her sisters, however, I accepted her schedule.
I had planned a very small and intimate reception with just my parents, my sister and brother-in-law, and the five of us. We will have a bigger party combined with the baby's second birthday at the end of the month. I felt that overwhelming her with too much in one day would backfire and I was certainly right.
I have to really learn to give Little Miss M the benefit of the doubt more often. I'm incredibly proud of the young lady she is becoming. Her disabilities make her accomplishments so much sweeter and I just need to be there to help her get through the days.
Amanda may have also gotten a little teary when Little Miss M put her veil on and proclaimed "I look like a bride".