Saturday, March 18, 2006
Body of Christ...Amen. (Did you notice my dress?)
For about a year now, I have been thinking about Paige’s First Communion. For a Catholic family, it’s a very big event in the life of a little girl. It marks a very important time in her life; when she can receive Communion for the very first time.
We’re doing a little extra preparing for it; as Paige has eating and choking issues, and the reverence with which she must take the Body and Blood of Christ is of utmost important to the day.
To be honest, I’m not sure how well she will do with it. We’ve gotten some unconsecrated “practice” wafers to try and see how it goes. Our priest has agreed that the tiniest piece is all she needs to take.
But, it’s flavorless, and kind of sticky on the tongue and the roof of her mouth. And she’s not very adventurous about what goes into her mouth, meaning if she can’t identify it, she’s having no part of it.
Add to that the fact that the Bishop will be the one trying to give it to her…a virtual stranger to her.
If we find it impossible to get her to take these practice pieces, we have two options…we can offer her a bit of wine on a cloth, touched to her lips, or we can pray that she will accept the consecrated host.
Its seemingly very, very important to me that she has her First Communion, even though I have been assured by our Priest that, given special circumstances, she can take it at any time throughout her life, and will be no less a member of The Church because of it.
So, I question…is it me, am I feeling the need to prove something? Why does this matter so much?
I’ve been dreaming of her First Communion dress for at least a year as well. I got the initial idea of having my own wedding dress cut down for her. My plan was to have a dress made for her, and then a baptismal gown made for Dakotah to have for her children.
But, a trip to the dressmakers in January discouraged that. She said that material that is older like that is very hard to work with, and stands a good chance of ripping at just the wrong moment.
So, I took the bodice of the dress out, the part that contained lace and glitz…thinking I could put that on the front of a dress I had made for her.
Another trip to the dressmaker was even more disappointing. She told me in February that I was way early to be thinking of this event that is scheduled for May; yet, when I returned this week, bodice and Paige in hand, she said she was just “too busy.” As she took out a pattern book for me to look at, I started telling her that I liked “this top, with this bottom”, etc…and she was very discouraging, saying that she didn’t have time to take from one to the other.
Well…I can follow a simply Butterick or Simplicity pattern! What I wanted was to design my “dream” dress for Paige…
I left, being told that my only option from her was a simple white sundress. She didn’t seem to get that I wasn’t interested in a “dress that could be used for something else” or in a sleeveless pattern that I could “always put a t-shirt under if you want sleeves.”
Boy, I wasn’t very impressed! I wanted a keepsake, something that we would still ooooh and awwww over in 25 years.
So, we spent the day yesterday in search of a First Communion dress for Paige. I went to four different bridal shops; where I quickly learned that there isn’t a huge call for First Communion dresses anymore…people really are going for that simple dress you can use for something else. And what the heck is it with all the sleeveless white dresses?!? We live in Canada, land of the cold!!! Put some sleeves on those babies!
At the third shop, I did find 5 little dresses that I liked. Paige was such a big girl trying them all on!!! She loved looking at her pretty self in the mirror, and Daddy, Dakotah, and I told her over and over how pretty she was!!!
She won’t have my wedding dress to wear on her First Communion. But, she will have the dress that we knew was the perfect one the minute she tried it on…one that is truly a First Communion Dress, not a flower girl dress, or a sundress, or a pageant dress, or any other silliness…a pretty little dress that lets her look like a pretty little girl.
And admittedly, she’ll be wearing a dress that cost more than my wedding dress did 15 years ago.
She’ll be the oldest in her class taking First Communion, but in that tiny little size 5 dress, she certainly won’t stand out as the biggest!!
Through The Great White Dress Search of 2006, I figured out that I do not want this to be so special and so perfect because her baptism was so scary, and so rushed as she headed into life-saving surgery.
Its not because I’m trying to make up for the fact that she might never go to Prom, or ever get married, or ever have reason to need a beautiful dress again.
Because, if she’s taught me anything, its that I just never know what she is going to do, and I may very well be shelling out another few hundred bucks for each of these occasions in her life.
I want it to be perfect and special because she is perfect and special…just like Dakotah was for her First Communion. I want her to feel like a princess that day…to embrace those childhood moments she is so deserving of.
We still laugh at how Dakotah felt so special and important on her First Communion Day because she had a “big girl purse”…a tiny, shiny white little purse she carried all day long, whose sole contents were three pennies.
Even Dakotah sees herself growing up since that memory. She cherishes that day as a celebration of her childhood that she will never forget.
We want nothing more or less for Paige.