March 16, Second Sunday of Lent.
"A portrait of my child, once a week, every week, in 2014."
Afon: on the airplane just before taking off to Wales Tuesday evening, hugging his "Puppy" close.
We attended Mass this morning at the small church provided for the priory in Old Colwyn. There were no children whatsoever. I wasn't too nervous about Afon's behavior, as I've resolved a long time ago not to let the disapproval of others interfere with Christ's own command to let the little children come to Him. But I do try to be reasonable, meaning I remove him if he's being downright naughty, like crying or yelling, and that is very rare. He usually just likes to test the echo of his voice in new churches and to loudly exclaim "Jesus!" after my pointing out the Tabernacle to hush him.
To our delight, everyone was fantastically friendly. I was so pleased. The man helping to serve (I don't know if he was a deacon or some other official working for the priory) asked to write down our names so that he could remember them and introduce us to others. Several other people came up besides and said it was so lovely to have a small child in the church and said to Afon, "I enjoyed your singing," with the sound of a smile stretched wide in their voices. One woman in the RCIA program even told us that the very day before, they had been discussing how there were only a few little girls, all beyond the age of First Communion, in the church community. "So we must pray for a little boy," she had said. And so it was.
Later, his Grandfather, Nana, Auntie, and baby cousin came over for company, and he was showered with attention--not to mention presents. John's aunt from Cork sent along a decorative Celtic tea towel, a Saint Patrick's Day badge, and two t-shirts to choose from for Afon to wear tomorrow.
It was a veritable Lenten feast with breaded fish, gnocchi and tomato sauce, salad, and boiled carrots and potatoes (and cherry bakewells and squares of Toblerone for those with less strict disciplines). Tomorrow I'm looking forward to an early break in the fast, as we celebrate the feast of Saint Patrick!