Our middle KAT is preparing for the sacrament of First Reconciliation.
If you're shaking your head, this is a god-bothering thing that involves trying to get a bunch of 8 year olds to understand how it's important to ask for God's forgiveness when you consciously do something bad.
It can be tricky getting the penny to drop!
Last week we missed our 2nd session of preparation as I was laid up with a very nasty case of tonisilitis (hence not much blogging has been done).
To catchup, middle KAT and I sat down after dinner tonight to go through the material on our own.
As she can sometimes be a tad fidgety (understatement of the century), I was having trouble keeping her attention....then we got to the bit about thinking of an example of where she had done something that hurt someone else.
Out of the blue she whispers in my ear that she thought of when she told her daddy (that would be SAINT Mike) that he was a 'mean daddy'. I asked her if she meant it, at which she shook her head.
Tears were now welling in her eyes as I asked her if she had told him she was sorry....NO, she cried.
Did she think she'd feel better if she told him she was sorry I asked. "I can't" said our beautiful girl. "I'm too ashamed".
We had a few minutes of crying and me trying to explain to her how I sometimes say things that I don't mean but I know are hurtful...and how saying sorry can heal your heart....and then I did what all good mothers do, I called out to daddy to come and see us.
She was quite upset by this point as I explained to daddy what had transpired but as far as I'm concerned it was soooooooooooooooo important for her to see that her daddy loves her NO MATTER WHAT and that she can TELL HIM ANYTHING...even something that upset her so deeply.
The ensuing minutes were very special for both of them as SM can be EXTREMELY guilty of 'failure to express' in the emotion department. I was really glad I pushed the point and based on the emotional outpouring from our little girl, she clearly needed to get it off her chest too!
As I explained to her later (quite well I think), she is like a beautiful, bright fish who swims near the surface when she is happy - glinting in the sun and her happiness is there for all to see....but when she's sad she swims deep down into the depths and hides her feelings in the darkness. In contrast, I explained, her older sister (equally bright and beautiful) is constantly on the surface...exhibiting all her emotions for everyone to see...she rarely swims down 'into the deep' to hide how she feels (a bit like her mother!!!)
The danger is that we can't always see clearly and don't always recognise that the little fish is down there feeling sad....because on the surface all looks quiet!
We finished our session, had a lovely cuddle in bed before she went to sleep and I know she went off to sleepy by land with a lighter heart.