I'm almost too high to write right now (plus I'm drinking my in-all-ways-bad mocha). Rojo was just Baptized and received his First Holy Communion. I wish all of you reading this blog could have been there, and thankfully, many, many of you were.
Rojo started his march towards receiving these Sacraments this winter, and enjoyed the process tremendously. Loved the other kids in his class. Loved the sponsors (fellow eighth grade students, many of them), loved the teachers, loved the teacher assistants, loved it up one side and down another. "I will miss RCIA," he said. I think he'd like to go every other Thursday from 3:30 to 5:00 for the rest of his life (and don't think for a minute that my wheels aren't already turning how I can make that dream a reality in some way).
Of course I worried. Worried that he would not put the host in his mouth for the First Communion (with the entire church looking on). Worried that he'd freak out at the cup. Worried that although we were assured by the priest (repeatedly) that he would only "sprinkle" him and not "dunk" him, that somehow he'd get too wet and/or worry about being too wet, and again, freak out. Worried that our non-Catholic family would be uncomfortable being in front of the whole church as Rojo received his First Communion, and knew it would break his heart if they weren't there, yet worried about their comfort level, too. Worried for months. Sent 1,000 e-mails. Got consoled 1,000 times. "It'll all work out," was told over and over.
"I will take the host, but I will not drink the wine," Rojo told me repeatedly. "I am fourteen. Fourteen-year-olds do not drink wine." How was I supposed to argue with that? Nonetheless, when it dawned on me he was the ONLY one receiving First Holy Communion today and all eyes would be on him, I wanted him to take the cup. Razzle Dazzle saved the day, "Hey, Rojo, just fake it. Take the cup up to your mouth, but don't take a sip!" Brilliant. Then I sent up a prayer that the person "assigned" to hold the cup would be our principal, who totally gets him (and "it").
And of course, all the worry was in vain. Not only did he NOT freak out in the least, he pretty much rocked it. Fair to say there wasn't a dry eye in the place when after we, his parents and his godparents and the priest anointed him with oil, he gave a big ear-to-ear grin and flashed us with the thumbs up sign.
It only went up from there. Father took Rojo's success very seriously and thought of details I could not have thought of. "I will have Razzle Dazzle and Rosie join him in the font. I will have them help me baptize him. I will do 'In the name of the Father,' then they will do the Son and Holy Spirit." Rojo's truest and bluest (and that is saying something because every single member of his class would have been happy to take on that role and would have been super special, too), climbed in that font, and shared in the blessing. Shared in the sprinkling. Shared in the holiness. When it was over Father helped him up out of the font and he stood on the ledge, facing out at the congregation. The music leader began to sing and play his guitar and Rojo raised both his arms (high), moving them all over as if conducting. Pure joy was on his face. When the music ended Rojo shouted (yes, shouted), "AMEN!" There was laughter. There was applause. There were tears and I'm afraid some ugly crying, too, and that was just from ME.
Later Razzle Dazzle said to me, "That was the closest I've ever gotten to crying tears of joy."
Then there were all the other things I should have thought about and totally didn't. Not to worry. Kathleen thought of asking someone to come and take pictures. Two brilliant photographers came and captured the whole thing. And of course, the principal came up to me right before the Mass and asked, "Did you assign anyone special to be Eucharistic Ministers?"
"I was hoping you would be," I said, then I told her about Plan Fake. She made the necessary arrangements and there she was. "Amen," Rojo said, clear as a bell when he received the host from Father. Then he moved over to the principal and did a great fake, after which, also clear as a bell he said, "Did I fake it?"
The eighth grade moms took it upon themselves to plan a little reception afterwards in the classroom. I didn't lift a finger. I just showed up and got to bask in the glory.
STM, Razzle Dazzle, Rosie, Rojo, godparents and I processed out with Father, very emotional looking around the church at all the people that love my boy. Not just like him. Not just put up with him. Not just being nice. LOVE him. Kathleen turned to one mom after we were out and said, "What did you think?"
She answered, "That that's what it's all about."