Saturday, April 28, 2012
First Communion Practice.....phew! exhaling...
With God and several friends as my witness...Mark did very well at his First Communion photos and practice today. I'm hoping that will help him do as well during the actual event, when the church will be crowded, noisy, and the liturgy will be slightly interrupted by a few little special extras....like the song the class does at the beginning, the lit baptismal candle and profession of faith, and the special prayer the class stands and recite prior to the final blessing. At any rate, no matter how you dice it, it's ALOT for a child on the autism spectrum. It just is. I can not tell you how much we have prepared him behind the scenes, literally for months. Using social stories, and role playing, modeling behaviors.....repetition.
So the superintendent of our school district was present today for practice, and I've known him well before he graduated from college and into an education career. He knows we home school of course, and I was telling him about Mark and all it took to at least get him to do as well as he did. It was a little bit of a glitchy start-off when the photographer called for the group photo and Mark wouldn't get out of his pew, and said, no, there is no group photo.....*sigh. I had to go and coax him, and he came out of it okay. It's those stubborn moments, that sometimes can escalate into total catastrophe and "scenes". But, thank God, that did not happen and I pray it will not happen tomorrow. Mark is really excited. But sometimes excitement brings extra stimulation and strange feelings for autistic children and they don't know how to cope with it. We keep reassuring him and letting him know "what comes next".
I'm rather sentimental about this special event tomorrow as it is my last child to make the sacrament. I have now taught all my children both at home and within the religious education program at our parish, through the l5 years of my life. I have taught this class for 17 years. I really don't know WHERE the time has gone, and I had NO IDEA of the challenges that awaited me the last decade, especially the last five years with my children. I am very humbled; I mean VERY humbled. I realize how God worked a plan that I can see after all this time unfolding.
Please pray for both Mark and myself as we both navigate some difficult areas of our life. I am considering stepping down from the 2nd grade sacraments' class and considering teaching a higher grade, likely the 8th grade this next year, especially if it is going to be a confirmation class. I don't know any of this for sure, and I would help on the sidelines with the 2nd grade class all the way to the sacrament day, and of course, remain the coordinator of the program. Many decisions await me this new season ahead. I pray for God's guidance and clear signs that I am doing His Will. As always, I trust in Him and know He leads me.