So then…the little 2nd-graders march respectfully up the aisle and step up to surround the altar. They turn to face the congregation and we all smile at the girls in their sweet little white dresses and the boys in their handsome miniature suits.
It’s a gaggle of 20 kids in their Sunday best, hair slicked back, bows and veils, new bracelets, tiny ties, and shiny shoes. Today is the culmination of a year of religious study so they can now receive their First Holy Communion.
David and I beam at our son Tucker as he stands quietly, but fidgety, amongst his fellow Communicants. I’m dying to take a photo of Tucker, age 6 — but it’s frowned upon to do so in Church, during the Mass itself – and I don’t want to call any attention to myself, so I resist.
We have a great view because we snagged seats in a pew close to the altar on the right hand side. David and I are dressed up, proud as can be, and looking forward to celebrating with friends at brunch after Mass. Chloe’s three years old, so she’s “reading” a hymn book upside down.
Father Tom’s finishing up his sermon about the importance of First Holy Communion, which the children are only able to receive after they have completed the Sacrament of Reconciliation — the confessing of their sins.
He tells the parishioners, “It’s always interesting to hear the confessions of “sins” of 2nd-graders! They’re so young; they don’t get up to much mischief at this age!”
Father Tom gently teases the congregation by saying, “However, I will say that some of the children confessed to using some very bad swear words — and I wonder where they heard that kind of language?”
Then Tucker, who is standing on the altar in front of the whole congregation, turns to face our side of the Church and POINTS HIS FINGER directly, and accusingly, at David and me.
Everyone bursts out laughing.
And stares directly at us. (Us, the vile heathens who spew profanity in front of our impressionable young son.)
David and I are mortified. We scrunch down as low as possible in the pew.
Tucker is surprised at the reaction. His expression is basically: Father Tom asked a question – and I answered it – what’s the big deal?
I am going to kill him.
And yes, I will confess it to Father Tom.
And he’ll absolve me because it’s a purely justified homicide. Three Hail Mary’s and one Our Father, and I’m good to go.
— Darcy Perdu
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Original Illustration for So Then Stories by Stefano Marchio
(Have your kids embarrassed YOU in public? Any mishaps in church or synagogue? Do YOUR kids know some salty swear words?)