Tuesday, January 26, 2010

First Confession (or Reconciliation as the Kids Call It These Days)

This is my church.

I was married here. My children were baptized here. I taught CCD (religion classes) here last year to first graders. A lot of lovely memories.

Tonight, we made a new one.

G made his first confession this evening. Officially called "First Reconciliation", this is an 8-year-old's first chance to say "Bless me Father for I have sinned..." and later rattle off the freshly-memorized Act of Contrition before bolting the confessional. Oh, and to be absolved his sins.

He had three choices of confessional priest tonight. Two sat in chairs in far-off niches of the church and took confessions face-to-face (or really shoulder-to-shoulder so the kids wouldn't have to actually confess their heinous second-grade sins while looking a priest in the eye). One sat in a traditional screened confessional behind the red velvet curtains.

(Not our church but the confessional looks basically like this one.)

G picked Priest #3 behind the curtains. Of course.

For those of you who have never been to Catholic confession (or have never seen of the hundreds of movies that depict confession), the old-fashioned way of confession looks something like this:

(Though generally without the pillbox hat.)

He waited in line. And was nervous. I told him that Father Bob was super nice and he had nothing to worry about. He knew his lines backwards and forwards.

Finally, he disappeared behind the curtain. Now, above our confessionals on the wall are two tiny lights - if either is lit, that confessional is occupied. Not sure how it's triggered but my guess is that the kneeler (the padded low bench at the floor) has something to do with it. So, I took a spot in a nearby pew and proceeded to watch that little light flicker on and off and on and off and on and off as my kid fidgeted his way through his first confession. (It's supposed to glow a steady light. As most people don't wiggle while confessing.)

And then he was finished. He found me in the pews. I asked him his penance - one Our Father and one Hail Mary. "That's it?" "Yep." "You must not have had many sins to confess. That's a light penance." "Yep." He knelt and said his prayers.

We then had a few minutes to quietly chat while the other kids finished up. I asked him how it went. "Great," he said. He wouldn't tell me what sins he planned to confess before we went - so I tried again.

"What sins did you tell Father about?"

"Ummm, I told him about not listening in class because I was reading something because I really, really like reading. But the not listening wasn't good."


"And I told him about that time that I diarhhea'd but didn't flush the toilet because I was really afraid I was going to clog the toilet."


"And that's it."

"You told him WHAT?"

"About that time that, you know, when I didn't flush because I was scared the toilet would clog."

And, so, gentle readers - that is how Father Bob won the "Best Confession of the Night" contest when he got back to the rectory. Poop.

Best. Confession. Ever.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Rock Chalk

Gotta love it! (Now if I can just get them to learn the Notre Dame fight song...)

Friday, January 8, 2010

Maybe I'm Just Slap Happy

My children have been at home, with me, in my presence, every day since December 18th (except this past Tuesday, which was the worst kind of tease). It is now January 8th.

Everything - school, sports, lessons - canceled "due to extreme weather conditions". I'm going a teensy bit insane.

Which may explain why I find this so funny.

Call the Nestle Crunch Hot line at 1-800-295-0051. When you are asked if you want to continue in English or Spanish, just wait quietly for about 10 seconds and you will smile. Promise! Keep going and press 4. Listen to the options, then press 7 (then press 9 and go back to hear others).

Seriously. Do it. And then tell me what you think!