First Communion, Nostalgia, and How Time Really Does Fly

Facebook newsfeeds teem with Prom photos this time of year, and–if you are Catholic–with First Communion pictures.  Both are rites of passage that many of us can relate to and which engender nostalgia (or PTSD, depending on what your Prom experience was).

I love attending First Communion Mass, even (especially?) when I don’t have a kid of my own participating.  We made sure to get to church early this morning, knowing that our own second-row pew would be occupied by proud parents but hoping not to have to sit in the very back, or (horrors!) on the wrong side of the church.

The little kids wanted to know what the hurry was and when I told them William moaned, “No! Not First Communion!” I assumed he was concerned about the extra time that would be taken out of his Sunday (a concern apparently shared by many regular parishioners who are noticeably absent on such days). But no, he said, it was that, “It can’t be time for First Communion again! Time is going by too fast!”

Yes, William is prematurely (he’s in the 7th grade) concerned with the swiftness of the passage of time, something I don’t remember thinking about until I was a Senior in high school worried about leaving my friends to go away to college.
I can’t offer any comfort to William in this area.  If I were to be honest I’d have to tell him, as any parent reading this knows, that time only flies by all the faster as we age, particularly if you have children.  (Christmas, for example, which took an eternity to arrive when I was a child, seems to come around frighteningly fast!)

When all those middle-aged women told me, a young mother with a newborn baby, that it goes so fast, they were annoying, but they were telling the truth.

I remember my own First Communion quite clearly, and it was just over 40 years ago.  Sixteen years ago, I had a very particular idea about the dress I thought Emily should wear to make her First Communion, and it was my very first online purchase (greeted by everyone I told with, “Really? You can DO that?”).  Spring followed Spring, celebration followed celebration, and our last baby made her First Communion just two Aprils ago.

Emily's First Communion
Emily on her First Communion day (1999), in my rose garden in our first house
Jake's First Communion
Jake on his First Communion day (2002), with the peony bush in the front yard of our second house
Teddy's First Communion
Teddy on his First Communion day (2003), in Immaculate Conception Church with our pastor at the time, Father Haley
William's First Communion
William with Lorelei on his First Communion day (2009), in the garden of Immaculate Conception Church
Lorelei's First Communion
Lorelei on her First Communion day (2013), in the Immaculate Conception Church garden

And now I will never have another First Communicant of my own (although I hope to be the grandmother of many!).  Those are days I can’t ever live again, and maybe that explains why there were tears in my eyes as I watched the adorable little ones process down the aisle this morning.

The days are long but the years are short.  I wish I had understood that sooner.
The days are long

Creative K Kids

0 thoughts on “First Communion, Nostalgia, and How Time Really Does Fly

  1. Aw, such sweet photos. I cry at every First Communion mass I’ve ever been to. One of my goddaughters will receive hers in a couple of weeks. I’ll need to have the kleenex ready.

  2. Your children are beautiful. I remember my two oldest first communion like it was yesterday. I can’t wait for my little boy to make his in two years. I understand Lesley what you mean by the days are long but the years are short. Next year I’ll have a child graduating college and one going to Kindergarten!!! I miss my oldest being little.

    1. Big milestones for you next year, Kim! Two years ago we had First Communion, high school graduation, and college graduation within weeks of each other. Oh, and two proms. Good times!

  3. thecubiclechick

    These photos are so precious. I don’t participate in First Communion but I love seeing the family traditions and pictures from those that do.

  4. Lovely post.. We are so often in the same place as mothers, my friend! I do mourn the things that we’ve outgrown, but I so cherish the memories of each event, and, like you, I look forward to all the things we’ve yet to experience! Adorable, adorable kids you’ve made!

  5. What beautiful pictures! Time really does go by too fast. I so agree with your sweet young son :). I love to go back through pictures of my kids’ important days, but it can really be bittersweet sometimes.

  6. What a beautiful family you have Leslie a credit to you and your husband. I remember that feeling as a kid that both Christmas and my birthday took forever to come around. We live way out in the country and nothing else exciting happened. Now I am so nice and busy one Christmas runs into the next in no time. We wont talk about birthdays. Lets all enjoy every moment we have. Fridays Blog Booster Party

  7. This is lovely. Just looking at my kid, he’s grown leaps and bounds (and still growing), and I always bring out the photo album! Sometimes he will browse through it too. Ahh….memories

  8. I attended a First Communion 2 weeks ago. It is indeed when you realize how time flies. My boyfriend’s goddaughter has become a sweet young lady and it was very special to be part of it.

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