Saturday was a wonderful day.
But I need to say this right now: it was 94 degrees. Unnecessary! Unreasonably uncomfortable! But we dealt with it. We moved past it. We wished we had chosen an indoor restaurant for our lunch celebration. We tried to ignore it while we fainted in the stifling air. We stayed upbeat and celebratory! Kudos to everyone and I thank them all from the bottom of my heart!
The girls, in their excitement, woke up very early. Breakfast was eaten, hair was curled by Noni (my mother-in-law), and we got dressed up in our fancy clothes.
Big Girl's exquisite dress was made by Grandma, and the veil was made by Mommy. New shoes and white pantyhose completed the look. Fingernails painted by Noni.
Middle Girl wore her crisp new Easter dress, as well as new shoes and pantyhose. Her fingernails and toenails had been painted by Noni, but she opted for new white shoes instead of colorful flip flops.
The Boy looked dapper in his new fancy khaki slacks and brown dress shoes. The tie was borrowed from a friend as well as a navy blazer. However, we did not put the blazer on him, since (did I mention?) 94 degrees. He asked Noni to paint his toenails as well, which of course she was happy to do. He looked great, despite the "owie" on the forehead from Monday, and despite the huge tantrum he threw while Daddy was dressing him. But that's why we dressed him way ahead of time and plopped him in front of cartoons! He was over the outfit drama by the time we headed over to church.
Oh, and that's me... that's what Big Girl picked out for me to wear!
Big Girl and her classmates gathered before the ceremony...
Look at what the boys had to wear in the (did I mention?) 94 degree heat!
Look at all of the proud parents taking pictures in the (did I mention?) 94 degree heat!
The children then began the Mass they had prepared. They processed in, so we could all see them, and then they went around to the back again and processed in with the priests. (The Youth Choir generously provided the music.) This time, they took their seats with their parents. The second graders handled all parts of the Mass: readings, presentation of the gifts (complete with setting the table on the altar), prayers of the faithful... Monsignor involved them in his homily, asking them questions and using a hand-held microphone to capture their responses for all of us. The children had great responses to his questions, clearly understanding the importance of this day and what they were there to do. Big Girl answered many of his questions with a great deal of self-assurance! She always had her hand raised. In this way she differs from her mother! (When I was a kid, I tried to be invisible.)
Monsignor reminded us that the parents are the first teachers of the children, which is such a wonderful message.
When it was time for the Eucharist, each child in turn went up to Monsignor with his or her parents and received the bread and wine. Then the parents did as well (I received a blessing instead, of course). We returned to our pew (Big Girl had a good spot on the center aisle) to watch all of the family and friends in the congregation go up to take communion.
The children processed out with the priests and then we went over to the Parish Hall where they were sitting at a big long table having some fruit and cake. We got to talk to everyone and take more pictures, and eat cake! (The Boy and Middle Girl really earned their cake, having behaved themselves in church with Noni and our friends the Bakers during the whole ceremony!)
After that, we went to the restaurant (did I mention it was an outdoor place? and it was 94 degrees?) for lunch! The Bakers bought a champagne/sparkling cider toast, and Big Girl got to open her presents. Big Girl felt so special that everyone wanted to share her special day with her, in their own way.
Then it was home to get out of the fancy clothes and into the pool! We didn't know this would happen on First Communion day, but after the planned celebrations, the weather was in charge!
Everyone was wiped out by dinner time, and bedtime came early. Tired and happy kids fell into their beds, one dreaming of putting on her white dress again in the morning and going to church to take communion with the whole parish.
It must be said: I really can't believe my baby is old enough to take communion. It always seemed so far away! Big Girl explained to me yesterday afternoon that you need to be old enough to understand what is happening when you take the bread and wine, so it does seem like she is grown-up enough for this. Again I am reminded that we are not in the three-little-kids phase anymore! Just look at my beautiful girl!
(Now go back and look at what happened to The Boy's outfit during the course of the morning.)