Some people wake up to the sounds of music. Some people wake up to the sounds of nature. Some people are awakened with a kiss. However, in our house, there are no soothing, calming ways to arise.
Not when The Younger Boy is around.
He is always the first one up, and he usually wakes up happy, but Saturday was a special occasion. He was making his first Confession. So, I wasn’t too surprised when he ran into the room at 7am, galloping and singing this little ditty:
“I’m making my first confession, first confession, doo doo da doo! Whoop whoop! Yippie Ki Yay!”
The kid had been counting down all week to making his first confession. While his friends were nervous, he was excited. He had examined his conscience the night before, written a list of his sins (Lord help him, he’s OCD like his mother), and found the Act of Contrition in his little prayer-book. He was ready.
He impatiently waited in line, often whining “Moooommmmmm, when is it gonna be myyyyy turn???? This waiting is sooooo boring!!!”, while I reminded him that he was going to have to add whining and being disrespectful in church to his list. (Was that wrong of me?) Finally, it was our turn. The priests had encouraged the parents to go to confession as well, in order to set a good example for our children. The Younger Boy wouldn’t give me a pass on this, even though I had gone to confession 3 days earlier. No problem, I was still able to come up with a list of sins committed in the last 3 days. (I probably shouldn’t admit that, huh? Oh well, I’m a horrible sinner, now the world knows. How’s that for stereotypical Catholic guilt?)
After a short while, Philip came out of the confessional beaming. He silently and reverently walked to the front of the church, knelt before the tabernacle, and closed his eyes in penitential prayer. He was so beautiful, so innocent, and I wanted so badly to run up to him and kiss his little cheeks. Luckily for him, I remembered that his friends were around, and I refrained from making a spectacle of myself and, in turn, him.
Once all was said and done, and we were eating lunch at the restaurant of his choice, I asked the big question. “So, how was it?”
His answer was a simple one. “Good. It was no big deal, Mom. I don’t know why so many kids were scared.”
I have to admit, the kid impresses me at times. I try to go to Confession regularly, and I still get anxious while waiting in line. He also went face to face because “what’s it matter if he [the priest] sees my face?” I only started going face to face two years ago. But, I think he gets it. He understands that he is not telling the priest his sins; he is telling God his sins. The priests are just instruments of Him.
Philip seems to have an understanding of our faith that some adults don’t even grasp. Maybe it’s just his childhood innocence. Maybe it’s because God is talked about so much in our home. Maybe it’s because he’s constantly surrounded by people and places of faith. Maybe it’s all of the above.
Or maybe, just maybe, it’s something more. Maybe The Younger Boy has been given a gift. Maybe he is filled with the Holy Spirit. His faith and knowledge of spiritual things amazes me at times–and not in a know-it-all, bratty sort of way either. I know I’m biased, but the child is truly special.