This Tuesday, December 2nd, YaYa had her 1st Reconciliation along with 16 other kids at our parish.
In the days leading up to the Sacrament she was very introspective and nervous. Occasionally she'd flash a bit of my Catholic respect for tradition and follow-it up a moment later with objections she inherited from her Mom's Lutheran DNA :)
In the final tally, it all boiled down to her concern that the penance would be too harsh.
The ceremony was held at 6 pm and was for immediate family only, but given the nature of the activity - you of course have to sit and wait your turn, and then wait for everyone that follows - we wisely got rid of the kids and took YaYa alone.
Beforehand we presented her with a gift of Bratz lotion and lip balm and a nice necklace to wear.
She was so gung-ho we arrived with forty minutes to spare and went for dinner at a Noodles & Company nearby, a meal itself punctuated by her nervous cries of "How much time is left?"
The public ceremony was short, but we were second to last among the families so the wait was just shy of an hour. We accompanied YaYa to the confessional room, formally introduced her to the priest, then waited for her to finish before leading her to the altar and lighting a candle from the Unity Candle. She was also given a button and ribbon reading 'Shepherd me Lord Reconciliation 2008'.
The 'harsh' penance she'd dreaded? "Hug your Mom and Dad and tell them you love them."
I snorted. "You got off easy because Father knows me."
Afterwards there was cake and punch in the school cafeteria.
Each child had a special place mat with their name on the front and a personal congratulatory message created by one of the kids in an older grade. YaYa had completely missed it because it was written in cursive, which to her might as well be French.
Here's YaYa with her Sunday school teacher
[One very nice, non-YaYa related note: when Father was told of my layoff he took me aside and told me to call him if I needed anything, from a letter of reference to a sympathetic ear, money or anything else. "It wouldn't be a handout, it would be a helping hand. And no one would have to know a thing. Lord knows you've certainly done enough for me and this Parish over the years," he said.
I was very moved, as was Lisa, although she herself was unaware of some of the assistance I'd provided to the Parish via my old job.]
We were both very proud of YaYa, and look with happiness to her First Communion in May.