Showing up and First Communion...

Many of you know my life is the typical Pilgrimage of late...

This weekend was Norah's First Holy Communion. A very important day in the life of a Catholic, and Norah enjoyed her's with a 104 degree fever and vomiting. My


in the church included ginger ale, water, ziploc bags (in case we needed a bag on the fly), tic-tacs, tissues and paper towels. Jeff and I were prepared for anything. But our little one, she was perfect! She is one tough cookie.

Some days, total success is achieved by just showing up, and she did! Also planned for weeks, the celebration at our house where we invited a large number of friends and family. I really can't say how many people were celebrating along with us, but let's just say well over 50 family and friends came by; our recycling tub is overflowing with champagne bottles and cake plates.

When I sit back and think about moments like this in my life; I recognize that we are called to live in community, surrounded by people we love. I'm blessed to have a supportive family, along with the most amazing and loving friends. The day went off beautifully, and between Motrin chewables, Norah was blessed to have the people she loved most surrounding her and celebrating this special sacrament.

But then she was all done.

My poor girl waved at everyone as she climbed up the stairs to my bed. At one point during her party I ran upstairs, held the bucket during the waves of nausea, washed my hands and dashed downstairs to pour champagne for friends and family! It was hard for me to be present in the day. I was nervous and anxious till she fell asleep and I put my toes up at 5 for a sip of champagne.  My poor sweet girl never hugged a guest or tasted her cakes or candy from the pink dessert table.

But, she recieved the Body of Christ. She did it!

My dear neighbor Sunshine ran out and picked up crackers after that fell off my to-do list and we talked about how of course this is just normal life for us. The best, most organized party planner girl's to do list, would crumble under our normal PilgrimageGal life.

In all honesty, I have to say, I wasn't surprised, disappointed, yes. Surprised. No. I don't ever expect easy, I prepare myself for hard, always, and then I'm delighted by easy.  Never for a second did Jeffrey and I consider contacting anyone and cancelling the party. Why? This is real time living, it is messy, unplanned and beautiful.

This is the real world, this is hard. This day is a life lesson for my little Type A in training, it wasn't a disaster, it was a blessing. Here is why:

This day was the most important day in her young life. It was something that she had been planning for months, and dreaming of for years. She has been on my lap or in my arms for all her cousins', her brother's, her friend's First Communions. She has patiently waited for her turn. It was her first real life rub that life happens while you make other plans. It wasn't what she wanted, but she did it anyway and it was all beautiful. Norah made lemonade out of lemons and she gained a new skill. Tenacity.

The best part she was tenacious about her faith; she wasn't going to miss out on the Body of Christ. She embraced the Sacrament, she professed her faith, she walked the walk.

We can learn so much about life from our little ones. Perseverance, tenacity and most of all hope. Children are hopeful, perhaps because they aren't worn down with the sting of disappointments. Maybe that is why their hearts are so light.

I have to be honest, this week is hard for me. It's now Tuesday, I'm beyond exhausted, I have things I want to do, but my sweet one needs me here, present with her. I have to recognize that in my selfishness or should I just say humanness, I wanted to be in bed alone, watching adult tv, relaxing and re-grouping. As women we all have our own ways to

re-charge the battery

. That is mine, me silent, watching TV, eating soup and doing nothing. I find it so telling that it is Norah's too.

But, she needs to be attached to me... and as we all know when we are empty, it is hard to give more.

So today will be filled with us snuggling, napping and re-charging, and me being present and recognizing that these days are fleeting. And I want her as much as she needs me, so we will do it her way and re-charge together.

She is growing and becoming the woman I can already see emerging.

But today, is a day to spend with the best 8 year old ever!

My little Beauty, my special gift....alone in my big bed together.