Today I was perched behind the organ in the chapel, watching the Baptismal festivities. The two babies who were baptized were so cute, and I am lucky to be able to help the deacon with the annointings, because I get an up-close look at the action. From where we sat on the organ bench, we had a great view of a little toddler in a pink dress who was having a great time babbling and checking everything out. Her family passed her around until the right aunt kept her busy and cozy in her lap. After a while, she ended up out in the center aisle, walking slowly toward the front. As she moved forward, I watched each adult at the end of their row tap the shoulder of the person in front of them, passing on the job of being the watchful eye for this little girl. No one jumped up and panicked about her being loose, they all seemed to know her pretty well and know she'd be okay and not disruptive- but they all kept a loving eye on her. It was a neat example of how a family works- I am starting to see that there is enormous value in being part of a big, loving, extended family.
Later I saw that again, with Marissa and Nicole and little Alycia all taking care of each other at Mass. Young people follow their parents' lead in so many ways, but it just can't be discounted how incredibly important a great Auntie can be, how valuable a loving Godparent can be.
I served as a Eucharistic Minister at Mass, too, and was touched by the hands that reached out to receive Communion from me. I'm always intrigued by the different styles of receiving; by hand, by mouth, by hands held up high or way down low, by the people who say "Amen." before I even finish saying "Body of Christ." One guy walks up so close to me that he bumps into my bowl. Some bow before receiving, most don't. Some look into my eyes, some look at the wafer, some at my hand. But anyway, tonight, I was amazed by all the sizes and shapes and textures of the hands that reached out in front of me. They were all ages, and some were strong looking and some were curled up with age. It felt beautiful to be serving communion and be in communion with the variety of hands that make up our parish.
Now I'm off to be with the same headache that's dogged me since Friday. Hormonal, I guess. Tomorrow's supposed to be very cold again, Spring hopes are dashed. But Easter's coming, I can feel it.