Last week in April proved to be an active one with the grandkids.
Our second-grader made her First Communion. As any second-grade parent can tell you, the devil seems to work overtime on these children the week before First Communion. The normally calm ones get ornery, and the ornery ones get even ornerier.
We picked up our second-grader after school. She got in the van with her kindergarten buddy. The buddy asked for help buckling her seatbelt. No problem, the second-grader graciously complied..
While we went into the store to pick up the second-grader’s gift, the girls hid in the back of the van. When we came out, her Mom and I were properly and verbally concerned. “Where did those girls go?“ No reply, of course, until we worried, “She won’t see her First Communion surprise!”
That brought them out of hiding and things were amiable until we pulled up in front of the house. The kindergartner again requested help to undo the seatbelt. The second-grader said, “No!”
Both her mother and I were surprised, but the kindergartner was shocked. No amount of reasoning swayed the second-grader. So the mom helped the kindergartner as she threatened, “When we get home somebody’s going to take a nap.”
“Well,” said the kindergartner, “It isn’t me. I’m not the grumpy one!”
First Communion Day the weather was beautiful. The little girls and boys marched down the church aisle perfectly. The little girls all wore traditional white dresses and little veils. Some even had on white gloves. The little boys wore suits or dress slacks with white shirts and neckties.
It was beautiful enough to make a grandma almost cry. Mothers don’t cry at a time like this because they are holding their breath, waiting for something to happen.
It was during the homily, or sermon, it happened. One of the boys was experiencing the novelty of his necktie, rolling it up and watching it unroll when it came unclipped and fell off in his hand.,
He sat very still for a moment, clutching the unclipped tie. He looked slowly from side to side, apparently to see if anyone had noticed. Then, feeling fairly secure, he tried to re-clip the tie. No luck.
Again he checked each side carefully to see if anyone had noticed yet. Since he was only checking the boys on either side of him, he was unaware most of us behind him were watching.
He laid the tie in the proper place on his shirt and held it in place by clamping his chin down on it. Now, with some difficulty, he again checked each side to see if anyone knew his tie was not clipped. He sat that way for a few minutes, but discomfort took its toll.
He raised his head up and caught the tie in one hand as he scooted up in the pew and turned around rto look for his mom. She was sitting clear over on the opposite side of the church. We could tell when he caught her eye because he held the tie up for her to see with a “Help it’s not my fault” look. She must have gotten the message because he turned around and relaxed.
Shortly after this the congregation stood up, and one of the ladies behind him went up and clipped the tie onto his shirt. He smiled angelically in appreciation and she returned to her seat.
Within seconds after this, his mother came down the aisle from the back of the church to her son’s first row seat. She must have gone clear across the back of the church to get to him in his time of obvious need.
He looked up at her in surprise, and waved his hand in dismissal with a “don’t bother me now mom” look.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: This column was first published in the Daily Advocate May 8, 2002.
Kathleen Floyd is a volunteer citizen columnist, who serves The Daily Advocate readers weekly with her column Back Around the House II. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.