A friend's daughter has reached the age of her first communion.
We got a bit muddled up, with what was happening when, but we understood enough to be at Paco's house one Thursday at 7pm. Not certain of the protocol, we dressed up a bit, although we had been told that jeans were ok. Surely, if this was a special do, then we should dress up? Not necessarily, it is quite common to wear jeans to church here!
We rolled up at 7 as asked, and Paco asked if we knew where Julian lived. No. Ok, then follow us. Then Paco, Victoria and their daughter set off, with us following behind, with no idea as to where we were going. We parked in a small street in the centre of town. It was within walking distance really, but, as Victoria has MS, it was better to take the car. We got out, then wandered up a street, looking in desperation for the right house. Evidently Paco didn't know where it was either! He finally asked someone, just as we were right outside the right house - typical.
In we all went, and then I understood. We had been invited by the family, to view the gifts that Marta had been given on this very special occasion. In her bedroom, all of her gifts were on display. There were clothes hanging everywhere and books and toys laid out on the bed. There was a lovely display of jewelry and Marta took great pleasure in showing off all of her treasures. She is not a selfish girl at all, and she understood the importance of it all. In centre stage, was a tall doll, which was wearing the dress that she would have on for the church, her shoes underneath, and necklace and earrings in place. It was all delightful. Thankfully, I was organised enough to have a present for her, as well as a card, which she was delighted to receive.
Once the church ceremony had taken place (presumably the following Sunday), the family celebrated in private in their country house. Other friends were then given a token present (a bit like getting a bit of wedding cake, if you didn't go to the wedding) and we received a decorated bottle of wine (the label having her name on, along with the date) as well as a beautifully wrapped selection of sweets.
I know England isn't a catholic country, but it is a shame that such significant points in a child's life are not celebrated. First day at school? Nothing. So sad. Childhood is over so quickly, we ought to celebrate it while we can.