Part of me was dreading Mikey’s First Holy Communion. Lots of people, expense, and work were guaranteed. Another part of me looked forward to this day because for Catholics, this is our walkabout. Our bar mitzvah, our rite of passage, our Prom with God. It’s what separates the little kids from the big kids, especially since our parish waits until the 3rd grade before the kids have their first communion. I guess a part of me was dreading it because I wanted it to be special, and if it wasn’t I was going to be sad. I decided to do something I never do to ensure the day went somewhat well. I made it as low-key as possible. I didn’t try to do anything perfect, didn’t try to have THE FIRST HOLY COMMUNION TO END ALL FIRST HOLY COMMUNIONS.
I didn’t try to get perfect pictures. The lighting in the church is horrible and I was too nervous. I focused on taking pictures of everything I wanted to remember and left it at that.
One of two class banners, this one holding Mikey’s “Holy Grail.”
Here is the infamous banner marking our pew, which turned out to be in the 2nd row thankyouverymuch. I thought my mom was going to have an aneurysm when she realized we were so close. She called me every day the week prior to ask where we were sitting, as if she asked enough, that whole “lottery thing” would disappear and we could stake out the pews with sleeping bags and lawn chairs like normal Catholic families. She called me twice on Friday on my way home from the conference and I finally snapped at her and said, “Lottery! We are having a lottery! Why do you keep asking where we are sitting? I have no idea! Please stop asking me.”
And she said, I swear on a stack of Bibles, “Well, I only ask because I thought you might have some inside connections because of the boys.”
Inside connections because of the boys?! Mikey and Nico are in the Children’s Choir, not the mob. Her excitement was palpable, endearing, and very much appreciated…but grandmas like her are absolutely the reason why the lottery system was put into place.
You know it kills me that his tie is crooked in this picture, but I got the tabernacle in the background so I’m happy. Also, his suit! We compromised and went with gray. I wanted something a little lighter that had a southern gentleman vibe that he unequivocally vetoed. Like, “over my dead body, mom” vetoed. I vetoed the “21 Jumpstreet” suit that had a vest and red tie. We bought his suit at Macy’s, for those who are curious.
We didn’t have much time to take pictures outside, but I did make sure to take one picture of Mikey and Emma, much to Mikey’s horror. Mikey and Emma have history. He thinks she’s too carefree with the rules and acts too much like a girl. She thinks he’s an uptight know-it-all and immature. Other than that, they get along great! Her mother and I, actually, are great friends and for the most part they really do get along when they aren’t around other kids from school or when Mikey isn’t telling Emma that taking a picture with her is his worst nightmare.
Yes, that’s right. I thought Emma looked beautiful. Her dress was one of my favorites and because her mom is one of my close friends, of course I wanted a picture of the kids together.
So I said, “Mikey, stand next to Emma so I can get a picture of the two of you.”
And he said, “OH MY GOD THIS IS MY WORST NIGHTMARE.”
Emma, to her credit, merely gave Mikey a withering stare that said she would like nothing more than for Mikey to have his first and last communion–while she watched.
In my head I planned to calmly say something like, “That was rude. Apologize to Emma.”
Instead, in a shrill voice that probably echoed across the four corners of the church yard I said, “WHAT?! WHY? WHAT IS THE MATTER WITH YOU?!”
“Mom, I told you. No pictures standing next to girls! Look at us. People are going to think we are getting married!”
Now, to be fair, Mikey prepped me for weeks telling me he wanted no pictures with girls and, if possible, he didn’t want to stand next to any girl at any time during the day, for any reason whatsoever, to avoid the millions of staring eyes sure to result. He prepped me, but I didn’t think he believed I would listen. A mom, not taking pictures at First Communion? Lucky for you wishes are free, my son.
I told him to zip it, stand next to Emma, and smile. He did, but not before steeling himself like a soldier going into battle. He looked at her like at any moment she was going to leap at him with a marriage license and a catalog of china patterns. Emma looked at him like he was something found on the bottom of her white, patent leather Mary Janes. Then they went inside and shared the body and blood of Christ!
Days later we were still teasing him about his fear of pictures. He stands firm that his concerns were reasonable.
“You have to admit, mom, two kids getting married at my age is highly inappropriate. People probably thought we were crazy.”
My big boy. This is actually a staged shot the priest was kind enough to recreate for all the parents. We weren’t allowed to take pictures during the actual mass. I thought I was going to be a blubbery mess, but it was my stoic, silent, still waters run deep husband who burst into tears. He earned 200 bonus points.
After the service, which was amazing, we stopped at the house for a few minutes so Mikey could change for his last baseball game of the season. His First Communion party was us ordering pizza and eating it at the game while he played baseball. After the game we went home (with extended family in tow) and had cupcakes. Mikey hates frosting, so the cupcakes were white cake with custard filling and whipped cream topping. Strawberries on top because he loves fruit of all kind, especially strawberries.
It was a great day. My favorite moment of the day had to be when we were leaving Mikey’s baseball game. I was walking with him, teasing him and asking him if he felt any different. He said that yes, he did. The bruise on his knee from when he fell the other day, for example, totally didn’t hurt anymore. I looked at him and smiled, noticing his gray eyes were the pretty blue-green with light brown centers they usually are when he’s upset.
“Hey, your eyes are really blue right now,” I said. “They’re that pretty color they turn when you cry.”
Mikey looked up at me and nodded, awed but not really surprised. “Do you think it’s a side effect of having Jesus inside of me?”
I told him anything was possible.
On trying to know everything
“It pays off.”
On 8th grade
“Mom, Ricky told me he saw two kids kissing, and that he heard that when you get to 8th grade that’s what you do. So basically I don’t want to go to 8th grade. But it’s not like I can skip it so…I really don’t see how I’m going to avoid this.”
On kissing girls in the 8th grade
“It’s inappropriate. And gross.”
On a perfectly nice suit for First Communion
“It’s okay, I guess, but I don’t want to wear it. I was looking for something a little more ‘21 Jump Street.’” [He has never seen 21 Jump Street, so I don't even know where this came from. --Jules]
On sports injuries
“I pretty much get an injury on any day that ends in Y.”
“Mom, those magazines are liars. The stuff they put on the cover is not what you see on the inside. When we were in Vons, I saw a magazine that had Hollywood stuff on the cover and I picked it up and looked inside. You know what I saw? Purses. Purses and Olay.”
When I started blogging over 5 years ago, the fastest way to grow your blog was to write well. Produce great content, and people would eventually find you via word of mouth. That didn’t last long. Soon there was advice about leaving comments and participating in link ups. Then there was Facebook. Then Twitter. Then Facebook allowed you to create public pages for your blogs and businesses. After that I think it was Foursquare. Something about you telling people where you were at by the touch of a button. Speaking of buttons, about 19 of them allow you to filter your life on Instagram since 2010 (sigh) and if you ever want to know what to do with those left over canning jars from your wedding, look no further than Pinterest. So many buttons.
I honestly can’t keep up anymore. And the more “people” tell me there are things I have to do in order to grow, the more I want to tell “those people” to kindly stick it where the sun doesn’t shine. No, I will not pin between the hours of 2:00pm-4:00pm and 5:00pm-10:00pm EST because those are “peak pinning hours.” Convert that to PST, and you’re telling me to pin in peak lunch eating and family spending hours. I’ll pin when I feel like it, thanks. And if no one repins my pin of Laura Bullion, the world will go on.
Like it or not, things change and I have to change and adapt in a way that aligns with my inherently poor and somewhat lazy business skills or decide to stop participating. For now, I’m choosing to adapt, even though it often seems like a losing endeavor. Google Reader shuts down in July. If Google can’t keep up, can I? For now, I can and will. I’m going to continue to blog because I love it, and will try not to get caught up in the competitive nonsense.
Twitter was run amok with tweets once the news hit. Everyone was going crazy. You would have thought a conclave announced a pope from Argentina! Final consensus on what everyone is going to do: Hell if we know!
Lots of people seem to be gravitating towards Feedly. I started an account there, but I also started one on Bloglovin’ (you can follow this blog at that link). Bloglovin’ is what I’m using now to read blogs, though I haven’t yet gotten the hang of it and I am vehemently opposed to the dropped ‘g on principle. Update: this morning I tried Feedly and so far I like it better. Plus, they use all the letters!
I don’t know. Be honest. Are you still into blogs? Do you feel the medium has changed or have your expectations changed? And, seriously, what are you going to do now that Google Reader is shutting down?
“Check me out coloring almost inside the lines! You taught me that, mama.”
“Hold on, let me just draw some hair on my army guy. Thanks to Sarah, I know how to draw hair now.”
“No one can beat Danny at coloring Emperor Penguins. He doesn’t color outside the lines not even one time and his wings are solid black! He is the real deal, mama.”
“They call Saturn the jewelry of the solar system because it’s so pretty.”
On intuitive eating
“Yes, mama, I listened to my tummy. My tummy said, ‘Yup! I want another slice of pizza.’”
On network news
“So, I don’t get it. Is this where we go to hear about death and devastation?”
On late lunches
“Mom. Seriously. I am so hungry I could eat a werewolf and not even get infected.”
On book reports
“This is nice, mom. Just you and me, coloring.”
“Thanks for encouraging me to read Harry Potter, mom. You were right–I love it.”
On Harry Potter
“I remember when I first started reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone I thought it was sooo long and such a big book. Now that I’m reading Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix, book 1 looks like, I don’t even know. Like, practically a Magic Treehouse book.”
On the limits of turning the other cheek
“I don’t care, mom. I refuse to be friends with a guy who threatens to punch me, gets bad grades, and licks his desk.”
“Mom, would you mind if I went on your walks with you and swung my bat and doughnut? I’m trying to build my arm muscles.”
On fitness, ii
“Check it out, mom. I have a two pack–also known as a beginner’s six-pack.”