Tuesday, April 25, 2006
Its Official! Paige is Confirmed!
Paige had her Confirmation at Church last night...her First Communion will be in 2 weeks. This is her waiting patiently for her Godparents to arrive.
It was so emotional for me to see her join her class, as well as about 75 other students who were confirmed last night. She had to sit separately from us, with her Godparents, and she did so well through the rather long ceremony.
Its been a long journey, and it was a triumph for us to present a happy, healthy little girl to the Bishop for his blessings, as her baptism was a scary, hurried event, given just before her first surgery.
Boy...how far she's come...what an amazing little girl.
As the Bishop delivered his homily, he spoke to the children about their baptisms, and how it was a time in their lives that everything had to be done for them...that their parents chose to baptize them, and bring them to the Church.
But, now, they were growing up, and able to make the choice for themselves. He gave them lots of examples of how they are independent of their parents now.
Of course, it was with a bit of melancholy that I acknowledged to myself that Paige still isn't able to do many of those things he spoke about...making herself a bowl of cereal, or reading a book, or riding a bike.
But, as he continued to talk, he explained to them that they were being called to God last night for a very important reason. That they were now God's "helpers" and it was their job to help make the world a better place.
He spoke to them about being peacemakers and peacekeepers, and about spreading love to others. He told them that they had to help God teach the world how to be good, and kind and caring.
He said that this would be the most important job they ever had in their lives, no matter what their chosen career was.
As you can imagine, my melancholy quickly disappeared, as I realized that Paige would take her "job" from God as seriously, if not more seriously than the other children in attendance.
In some ways, she will be very lucky not to be burdened by many of the outside stresses of daily living that some of these children will be as they grow.
And, in some ways, her job began a very long time ago; the very first time she opened a heart to Down syndrome, or made someone smile in a grocery store as she laughed away and exclaimed "Hi! Hi! Hi!" over and over until they took time from their busy day and said hello back.
When she kicked off the Children's Telethon, and her sweet face appeared in the bubble of the little girl blowing bubbles...Paige's face appeared in the "hope" bubble.
All the times I've taken her to meet countless new parents of babies with Down syndrome, and she walked up to the new baby, put her hand gently on his or her head, and said, "awwwwwwww, and signed "baby"...and the times when she quickly turned with a hug for the Mom or Dad who needed it too.
And, luckily for me, I had the chance to debate differences yesterday, and was given some very thought provoking reasons to ponder the acceptance of Paige's differences, and to distinguish between coming to terms with differences, accepting them, and rejoicing them.
There are many paths our lives take, and many journeys we have to walk on to find our way...
Thankfully, God has called upon one of his little Helpers to show me the way.