This afternoon our parish held its annual banner-making day for the second graders receiving their First Holy Communion in May. Armed with craft supplies, and the warning that this assembly can be rather chaotic, Crackerjack and I headed over early. We perused the general instructions, brainstormed a few designs, filled our ziploc baggie with glue and felt - we were ready to roll ...
Or so we thought.
Ten minutes in, between the opening prayer and attendance, CJ suddenly looked quite pale, felt very hot and really wanted to go home. Assessing the situation, I believed he was either coming down with something, or was overcome by all the commotion inside the hall. With all the parents and kids working elbow-to-elbow on banners, spreading out all kinds of materials all over, it was hard to think, let alone chat. It was obvious some mums had done this before - their felt pieces were already neatly cut out, and in beautiful shapes and colors, too - two-toned grapes, golden chalices and embroidered lettering.
I fingered our few sheets of colorful felt and cast a critical eye at our profound lack of embellishments.
I knew we would be hard pressed to come up with the design CJ wanted in less than an hour. Certainly not with CJ wilting away by the moment. So I pulled the chute; we gathered our stuff and said our good-byes.
Honestly it was not because of the pressure to be perfect. We've spent too many years marching to our own drumbeat to concern ourselves with how we measure up. But I know my CJ, and I know he'll care how his banner looks on First Communion Day as it hangs proudly alongside all the others. He'll want it to look ... well, like it's his. With lots of red, a dove or two, and probably a touch of glitter.
And it's not just how it will look in the end - it will be the memory of putting it together - together. I'd like to be able to talk about it, let him think about it and enjoy the process. Which is just what Sister said as we left. "He should do this when he can enjoy it," she said. "It will be more fun to do later at home."
So you see the "before" at the top - the plain light blue felt banner - and here's the work in progress, as far as we got today:
We're still envisioning the design, but I have to tell you, I really liked those grapes! The question of course is, did CJ? Stay tuned for our finished product early next week - it's due back in time for rehearsal.
In unrelated news, my computer is giving me the fits. It's strangely and impossibly slow, photos won't upload properly and Paint Shop won't open at all - it just freezes the whole kit and caboodle. How I got this post done, I just don't know. I have a whole bunch of desk photos to post tomorrow, if these issues ever work themselves out!
But much more importantly, my family is here, we're all home and everyone is healthy and happy. In fact each one of my men (big and little) is outside flinging a frisbee around in the lingering light of this lovely spring evening. So yes, CJ is feeling much better. ;)
Keeping all these blessings tucked in my heart, I wish you all a wonderful night.