Most beautiful thing: Birthday and First Communion

I was supposed to post this on Monday, but you know when you just can’t find the right words to say what you mean? Hopefully I found them…

This past Saturday was Darren’s 33rd birthday. Early on in our marriage I forgot his birthday three years in a row and didn’t remember until we got a call from his mother to wish him a Happy Birthday. Oh, the shame. And I’m not kidding, I felt awful. Thankfully, I have remembered Darren’s birthday for the past few years, and this year continued with that positive trend. I was also happy because, as I mentioned here, I didn’t have to worry about finding a present for him. I love him like the dickens, but finding him a good gift is difficult.

We had a very low key day and spent a lot of time with the kids, which is what Darren likes best. We went for a walk, watched “The Secret of Roan Inish,” Darren got to hunt around at the local Catholic bookstore by himself, we had a nice dinner, and played a rousing game of Uno. A good day. (And a sleepy boy).


Sunday was Benno’s First Communion. I often find that the things that are closest to your heart are often the most difficult to write about. This is certainly no exception.

Ben is an exceptionally intelligent child, but he can also be a challenge. He can be really rough and tumble, attacking like a velociraptor, and he can be sweet and gentle with amazing insights. On Sunday morning he vacillated between bouncy excitedness and calm contemplation. Totally Benno.

I will never forget the solemnity and seriousness on his face when he walked into the church with the rest of the kids, despite the best efforts of the principal to make him smile.

I will never forget the chorus of Grade Two voices as they confidently sang out the responses of the Mass.

I will remember Ben standing up with a classmate and reading the second reading. My boy, who hates to do speech arts and has avoided it for the past three years, standing in front of a church full of people and reading to them as if they were guests in our living room.

I will remember watching him receive his First Communion and being overcome with joy. My boy, my little Benno who came into the world so unexpectedly, who challenges me every day with his wit, his intelligence, and his tenacity, receiving the Eucharist, receiving Jesus.

I will never forget Ben saying, “I can’t wait to do it again!”

Thank you to all the grandparents and godparents and aunts and uncles and friends who prayed for us on Sunday and who have been praying for my boy ever since he arrived into the world on a cold, snowy morning in the middle of a Saskatoon winter. I love you all.


(Benno and Ms. Kranabetter, his teacher and my lovely friend)


3 thoughts on “Most beautiful thing: Birthday and First Communion

  1. I’m weeping like a babe reading this one. I didn’t know he did the 2nd reading! You have described your Ben so perfectly here. What a champ he is! What a winsome mother you are! I love you all so very much!!!

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