My first First Communion

As the mother, that is.

27 years ago I had my First Communion. It took place in Spain, and I have two vivid memories of it: the afternoons spent with two boys from my village and with Don Donato, the most wonderful priest I have ever met, looking for an owl in the bell tower of the church, and climbing with my cousin, wearing my pretty white dress, on the rocks that led to the monument to the shepherds (no religious metaphor here) that gave name to the restaurant where we had lunch, Monumento al Pastor. The search for the owl constituted the equivalent to catechism class, and the climbing ended up with two badly scraped knees, and a lot of fun.

The pretty white dress.
The pretty white dress.

This time around, though, I was the mother. That involved finding a restaurant, organizing the lunch, looking for clothes for everyone, wearing high heels and managing to arrive to the church on time with three kids on tow. One of the difficulties of living 5000 miles from your family is that they tend not to attend this kind of event. And that is hard. Not that I am overly religious, but it broke my heart a little that the only kid in that church with no grandparents present was mine. Fortunately, we have some very good friends who celebrated with us and made my son’s day very special.

The First Communion boy, in white too, walking through Draft Town.
The First Communion boy, in white too, walking through Draft Town.

The other issue caused by our lack of Americanness is that, since we don’t watch football (the American one, it is, as we love the real one), I was unaware of the fact that the NFL Draft was taking place in Chicago this weekend. To be more exact, in front of Mercat a la Planxa, the restaurant where we had lunch after the First Communion. Very, very clever on my part. It took a while to get there. But at least we were able to enjoy the vibe of Michigan Avenue, packed with people and energy.

At the end, the day was a success, summer was finally here, everyone had a great time, the service went smoothly, I didn’t break my leg on my four inch heels (not my usual), lunch was delicious, and thanks to Lego even the kids behaved well. As for that white dress at the beginning? It’s still waiting in a closet in Spain, in case one day there is a little girl who needs it.



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