Saturday we had the retreat morning for all the children making their First Holy Communion on May 1. It’s always a fun and special time. My class and the second graders from our church’s school come together – and the helper moms come together, from the school and from my class… watching both sets of groups interact is always interesting 🙂 .
The parents of my students know what’s going on with me, of course, and many of the school moms who are involved in parish activities have been my friends for years. But then there are the other moms.
When one other mom asked me if I was pregnant on Saturday, I made some sort of joke about my “fat dress” and went along with my work. But when a second other mom asked me if I was pregnant and without waiting for an answer went on to tell me how happy she was for me and wanted to know if I knew yet whether it was a boy or a girl… I sort of let her have it. No, actually, I was really mean.
When she stopped to take a breath, I told her that no, I was not pregnant, I have cancer, and because my cancer was so advanced, I had to have a hysterectomy, so I will never be able to get pregnant again. I told her that there was nothing I’d love more than to be pregnant rather than having more chemotherapy starting on Wednesday, but that we have to do everything possible to save my life for the children I already have. Then I burst into tears and told Sister Judy that I had to leave the retreat because I wasn’t feeling well.
I don’t think that lady will ever ask anybody if she’s pregnant ever again. I feel bad now for being so mean, but I’m not sure I’ll be brave enough to apologize when i see her at rehearsal on Friday.
Let’s not think about having cancer instead of being pregnant. I need to focus on the goodness of my class instead of worrying about those other moms. How about if I show you some pictures from Sunday school this week?
At the end of the school year, we spend most of our time on our saint projects and our prayer chart. Early in Lent, I bring in a stack of holy cards, divided into boys and girls. We go through the piles, talking about the stories of the saints, and each child takes one holy card.
My students have wildly diverse abilities. Some have limited English skills, some are non-readers or in special education classes in their regular schools, but we also have fourth and fifth graders who just never had a chance to make their First Holy Communion before.
Some students prepare amazing presentations, complete with costumes. Other children learn the name of their saint and perhaps one miracle associated with him.
But everyone gets to present their saint’s story. The whole class claps REALLY loudly for every presentation. And it never fails… even though the saints are chosen from the same 35 or 40 every year, I learn new things about these heroes of our church.
I wonder which saint I need to pray to for help dealing with those mothers who asked me if I was pregnant on Saturday? Maybe I should just focus on my students instead of worrying about the moms? But perhaps I should work up my courage to apologize to that second mom….