Growing up as a clueless goofy Catholic kid

February 27, 2015

I used to write a lot when I was younger. I’ve had multiple diaries, journals, and so forth through the years. Some of the more memorable stories I took the time to write down. Anyway, I have a bunch of little tidbits I wrote this week but nothing really stuck out. That’s when it occurred to me that I should post one of these past stories that I took the time to write down. This story is from around 1995, and I believe I finally gathered all of it together around 2000.

This story is about trying to act grown up as a clueless goofy Catholic kid.

Everything in this story is completely true, right down to the announcement made in church.

It all started a few years ago when I went with my sister to visit my parents for Christmas. My mother makes a big deal about her children going to church on Christmas eve. Instead of following the usual Catholic routine (try to get out of it, she gives us a guilt trip, we give in) we decided to just agree to go and make her happy.

We get spiffed up for the service and head down to the church. As usual every other Christian family that usually doesn't go to church decides to show up for the service too. This year is a bit different, instead of our usual spot along the wall, we split up and actually get seats. Its a minor miracle.

Anyway, that's not the point of the story. Communion comes up and we all get in line to go and receive the bread/body/"whatever they call that white wafer thing". On our way up, I started to think back to my first communion.

I actually skipped my first communion, my mother took me to church the night before and I asked why I had to wait a day - I didn't see the need to wait a day, and there was no way I was going to church 2 days in a row. She agreed and sent me up there, only she forgot to tell me what to say when I actually got the thing in my hands. So when the priest actually put the wafer in my hands, I didn't know what to say. He whispered what I thought was "Say uhumm", to which I returned a confused look. He kept on repeating this strange utterance until I figured it out. It only took about 30 seconds to get it through to me, but that's a long time to hold up a line. My mother was so embarrassed, but she laughed it off and I got a lot of ribbing over it over the next few years.

So back to Christmas. I'm in line, thinking of this story. I actually start to smile and think about how far I have come in life. I'm in college, have a job, survived many a setback, etc. I'm feeling pretty good knowing that I can now do this communion thing so easily. Well, I start to get a little nervous, and my hands started to sweat a bit. I'm not worrying, but I want this to go perfectly because I know my parents are behind me a few rows back watching my sister and I make our way in the line.

I get up to the Priest, he says his words, to which I reply "Amen!". He gives me the wafer and I go to put it in my mouth when...

Well, I guess my hands were a little moist, and the wafer stuck to my finger a bit and then fell off of it. I could see it flip end over end in the air as it made its way to the floor. I tried to grab it in mid air, but missed. The wafer hit the floor.

It would have been bad enough that all of this happened, but no, it gets worse. The wafer lands on its side, and starts rolling like a quarter. It rolls back towards the line and hits my sisters foot. Meanwhile I have been crawling on the floor chasing after it. I pick it up off the floor next to my sisters shoe, and hold it up so that the Priest can see that I have regained control of the situation. He chooses not to look at me. I turn around and look at my sister, who is bright red. She pushes me off to the side and tells me to sit down. I put the wafer in my mouth, do the cross thingy, look back and see my father holding his face in his hands. He is shaking his head as if he was saying "Where did we go wrong..."

I sat down next to my sister who won't look at me, my parents walk by and my mother can barely get back to her seat because she is laughing so hard. She is being helped by my father, who is just shaking his head.

My parents told me later that I have never supplied them with a dull moment ever since I was born, and this incident was no different. It also turns out that its a huge deal to the church if you drop one of those things. A long time ago they would have stopped the service, and had to go through a long procedure to bless the spot where it dropped and so forth. Luckily for me nothing was mentioned.

...Well, not until the next year. When they announced that parents please look after their children and be careful not to drop any wafers on the ground.

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