Anyway, there's this one chapter where Ramona's parents get in an argument over something silly because they are tired and she's freaking out because this is clearly going to lead to their entire lives falling apart and how COULD HER MOTHER DARE thwap her very own husband on the hiney with a spatula as she marched out of the kitchen???? (As someone who regularly thwaps her own husband with a spatula on a regular basis, this particular detail had me rolling). The next morning we find everything patched up between the mister and the missus and Ramona and her sister shocked and furious that their parents aren't perfect and that they make mistakes.
My very first thought while reading that scene was "aw, poor things have never heard about going to confession..." Because if they had, if their parents went to confession, the kids would know that parents make mistakes, you know? They would already know that as a matter of fact. And love them still and understand better when they falter. The pedestal wouldn't have to come crumbling down in such an Earth-shattering fashion.
Anyway, I'm talking too much about Ramona Quimby. I'll stop (although I could go on! Oh. Yes. I could.). I just opened with that so I could tell you how grateful I am, yet again, for the Church in her wisdom giving us these tools that are so spiritually powerful but are also super practical and useful. The sacrament of Reconciliation, aside from removing what blocks us from receiving God's graces fully, reminds us and each other that we are all imperfect, all sinners, and all need Jesus. Full stop. It takes us out of the driver's seat of our weaknesses. AND it gives us the habit of apologizing when we've done something wrong. Ramona's parents didn't say they were sorry to the girls during that scene. They just told them they were silly for freaking out. That's weird to me.
Hah! I totally said I would stop talking about that book. Oops.
Okay! So! Confession! On Saturday, Paul received the sacrament for the very first time. It was great. The whole weekend was wonderful, full of ups and downs and a lot of beauty and grace.
|Here he is with his group waiting in the back pews near the confessional doors. He has on a black shirt and a white stole and his tiny little peanut head is almost not visible in this photo. But that's okay. I'll always remember.|
|Meanwhile, the other family members were saying confession as well. Or rather, waiting to go to confession. With babies. And shenanigans.|
|And antics. (perhaps these two are a little too comfortable at our parish church.... Cecilia does not now, nor has she ever, sucked her thumb, btw. She's just nuts.)|
|Chombat leads his faithful followers in a rousing game of follow the leader|
|Do not sit on your haunches, young ladies....|
|Because he will escape!|
|And here he is, coming out from receiving the sacrament!|
|And a little gift to remind him that he is a branch on Jesus' vine. He is absolutely in love with that little plant.|