We had a lovely, leisurely Monday, so I still need to catch you up from our busy weekend.

The highlight was M.’s First Communion. Like I’m guessing about 95% of her classmates, I don’t think the religious ramifications of the event registered with her completely. She was far more concerned with her dress, veil, tiara, and first pair of heels than getting closer to Jesus. So much for those months of preparation, I guess.

She could not have been more excited about her shoes. When we first got them a month ago, she would wear them around the house when we let her. It was still cold, so the sweatpants with white socks and white heels thing was a most excellent look.

It was a fine event. Her communion class was rather large, so it was split into two sessions. They still managed to just about fill the church for her group. There was lots of giggling and shrieking as the girls saw each other’s dresses. Meanwhile the boys all fidgeted in their suits and sports jackets. That doesn’t really change as we get older, does it?

M. got a couple necklaces from family and friends, and we gave her a pair of my mom’s (real!) diamond and gold earrings which she thought was pretty cool. She also got a carved angel she loves from our neighbors. She kept taking it out of its box then putting it back in. After about 30 minutes of that I heard her gasp and yell, “Dad! Look at this!” She handed the box to me and it was done by an artist in Kansas City.

Speaking of Kansas City (kind of), we asked her what she wanted for lunch after church and she requested pulled pork from the barbecue place that is near her school. That’s my girl!

Saturday night I took the girls over to our friends the H’s house so the girls could play while the dads hung out and drank beer. I heard Ella, who is a year older than M., quizzing her at one point. “So, tell me, what exactly is First Communion? We’re not Catholic, we’re Christian, so we don’t do Communion.” I had to laugh, not only at the way she phrased the question, but how M. couldn’t really explain the significance of event.

Both girls had their best soccer games of the year Sunday. C. scored a goal, her second of the year, but the first in which she controlled the ball through traffic and forced her way to the goal.

And M. spent her turns on the field mostly on defense or in goal, but did a great job running to the ball instead of away from it and clearing it safely most of the time. In fact, there was a girl on the other team who didn’t look like much1 but was incredible. She whistled a shot in from about 20 yards out, could take control of the ball and keep it in traffic while moving faster than the defenders, and could change direction at will. She scored three goals in about five minutes at one stretch. When M. was on her in the fourth quarter, though, homegirl couldn’t get a shot off.

But my favorite part about it was M.’s demeanor after the game. We were praising her effusively, telling her it was her best game ever and how proud of her we were. She just shrugged her shoulders and acted like it was no big deal. Perhaps we’ve turned a corner with her and she will no longer be a shrinking violet on the field.

Finally, the referees are all high school kids. One of them is the son of good friends of ours.2 He’s a great, mature kid who is completely comfortable around adults and fantastic with kids. He’s been ref for M.’s games twice and I always give him the Caddyshack “Hey, let’s keep it fair out there!” line before the game.

Anyway, a week ago we offered him a ride home after the game so his parents wouldn’t have to drive out and pick him up. At first he accepted, but as we were gathering our chairs and bags and snacks up to leave, he came over and said thanks but he would get home on his own. Then we noticed a very cute girl making googly eyes at him. Soon they were walking across the fields arm-in-arm. Nicely done!

  1. She was short and kind of stocky, although not fat, and had glasses on. 
  2. The mom is one of S.’s best friends from high school, the dad officiated at our wedding in Indianapolis, and they are L.’s godparents. They were also our friends who were on spring break at the same time as us.