Why I bought the expensive dress

19 Mar

So we’re Catholic, right?  And with Catholicism comes such milestones as Baptism, First Communion and Confirmation.

This year, Miriam’s making her Confirmation.  She’s chosen her confirmation name, her confirmation sponsor and her confirmation dress.

Now, the dress came about because she wanted to wear heels.  What 12 year old girl doesn’t want to wear heels?  Mim is not tall for her age, and her feet are not big.  But she found a pair of little red heels, in her size, on sale even.

Then she found a dress to go with said heels (a cute little blue dress with white butterflies. Perfect for her.)

Meanwhile, people around me were getting ready for First Communion – which usually happens in the second grade, or when the child is about eight.  Sure, it’s about being old enough to receive the Eucharist, to partake in a major part of the Catholic mass.  But I’ll be honest – it’s also fun to dress a little girl for her First Communion.

For Miriam’s, I made the dress.  A cute Jane Austen style dress, with lacework I brought back from our trip to Ireland, that had crosses right in it.  The dress was a labor of love, some self-loathing and a few curse words – but it came out lovely.  She was the little old-fashioned looking girl of my dreams.   I saved the dress for in case Maura would make her First Communion.

But age eight came and went.  As did second grade.  The dress I made for Miriam was tucked away in the closet. When we were in Michigan, I wasn’t sure First Communion would happen.  When we got to Dublin, we found out her class already made theirs.

And so we were in limbo.

I knew it didn’t matter.  God made Maura, God loves Maura, God doesn’t care if she makes her First Communion.

And yet, I really wanted it for her.  To be really really honest, it wasn’t so much for the religious aspect.  It was more for the normality of it all.  All the other kids made theirs, I remember my First Communion day.  I wanted the experience for Maura.  The pretty dress, the party, the works.

So when, one day, the principal of her school mentioned the confirmation class, I asked about First Communion.  Go figure, the ONE note I didn’t get was the one asking who was interested in Confirmation and First Communion.  I was a bit deflated.  Maura’s class is the youngest ones in her school, the rest had made theirs, so there wasn’t really a need to make a First Communion group.  But the principal offered to look into it, to see if they could squeeze her into the Confirmation group.

Last Friday, we got the green light.  Maura would make her First Communion along side with the Confirmation class.  They’ll make sure she’s ready enough.

On Saturday, I marched Maura down to her favorite store – Monsoon, the store that always has a wall of beautiful party dresses, and currently has a wall of gorgeous white dresses – and lined up all the dresses in her size to let her choose the dress she wanted.  And the matching shrug.  And a little flower crown.  I didn’t look at prices.  The cost meant nothing to me.  I was going to buy my girl the First Communion dress of her choice.

I didn’t realize how much this meant to me until it was a reality.  I don’t think Josh got it either until he was teasing me about the price of the dress and I started crying in the store.  Crying.  I don’t do emotion in public, especially not crying!

Maura’s not getting married.  She may never have the chance to go to prom, or homecoming dances.  There will not be college formals to attend.  I’m not even certain Confirmation is in her realm of possibilities.  Maura’s special needs means her list of Special Occasions gets narrowed down considerably.

So yes, I bought the expensive dress.  I have no regrets.  My only concern is that I’ll be a blubbery mess on the actual day itself.  I can’t predict what Maura will do, but by golly, she will do it wearing a gorgeous dress looking utterly precious!



23 Responses to “Why I bought the expensive dress”

  1. phxross March 19, 2013 at 1:18 pm #

    Can’t wait to see pictures of her special day!

  2. Nancy S March 19, 2013 at 1:35 pm #

    I admire you for giving her this gift. Like you said, it’s not about the religion; it’s about feeling special for a day.

  3. ermartin March 19, 2013 at 1:37 pm #

    Thank you. As the mother of a globally developmentally delayed son who won’t be getting married, and probably not going to prom or homecoming, this put things in perspective for me. I’ll celebrate all the little things like they are his big things.

  4. Angie James March 19, 2013 at 1:38 pm #

    I too admire you, and cant wait to see pictures she is such a sweet girl and you are an awesome mom…….I cried last week when Christian(my autistic superhero) passed sacrament at church. Our kids are amazing!

  5. Gail March 19, 2013 at 2:50 pm #

    I would have bought it too! 🙂

  6. Gretchen March 19, 2013 at 2:56 pm #

    I’m a mess just reading about it….good luck on the big day!

  7. Alyssa Jackson March 19, 2013 at 3:51 pm #

    Aww! I can’t wait to see pictures. I bet it will be wonderful 🙂

  8. Orla murray March 19, 2013 at 3:53 pm #

    I done it to as its the closes thing to seeing r girls going up the aisle in a white dress and it felt great so make sure u and maura enjoy her day and spoil her rotten and put some pictures up of her so we can c her in her dress

  9. Jackie March 19, 2013 at 4:53 pm #

    I love this…sounds just like my experience w/my daughter….she didn’t make her first communion until the 6th grade….I said I didn’t care if she made it or not….but deep down I wanted her too….and so did my mom! We too bought the expensive dress,shoes and crown of flowers. It worked out just fine….and we were all crying our eyes out! Good luck to you all and I can’t wait to see her all dresses up!

  10. katepantier March 19, 2013 at 4:53 pm #

    I love this Phoebe!!! And I want to see pictures as soon as you have them!!! She’s going to be beautiful! Wish I could be there! 🙂

    PS I’ve only been reading your posts from my email account. YOUR SITE LOOKS AWESOME!!!!

    • phoebz4 March 19, 2013 at 4:55 pm #

      Your Aunt Suse will be here. There will be hundreds of photos, lol! And thanks! My friend Cynthia took my vague ideas and made my site all pretty 😉

  11. katepantier March 19, 2013 at 4:54 pm #

    I can’t wait to see pictures of Maura in her dress!!! She’s going to be beautiful!!!

  12. Renee Anne March 19, 2013 at 5:03 pm #

    You shouldn’t have any regrets. Even if she doesn’t do what all the typical kids do, she’ll still look lovely and, honestly, says the not-quite-Atheist (me), God doesn’t care if she doesn’t do it “right.” He made her that way for a reason so He can’t be upset about the “rightness” or “wrongness” of it all.

    • phoebz4 March 19, 2013 at 5:12 pm #

      Oh, I know that God doesn’t care if she does things “right” – He made her, therefore, she is Perfect in His eyes 😉

      Besides, her sister was the one who had a nosebleed in the middle of her First Communion, and her brother corrected the priest about something in the middle of Confirmation. Maura being silly will be less nerve-wracking than either of those, lol! (And for the record, the priest was very nice about being corrected.)

  13. Courtney Eaton March 19, 2013 at 6:27 pm #

    Phoebe, what a very, very special memory to have forever!

  14. Jessica March 19, 2013 at 7:18 pm #

    Great on getting the pricy dress!

    As to the future of the child. She most likely won’t make it into an independent living situation, or a traditional relationship. However, I have seen several people with developmental and cognitive disabilities make it into relationships. They might not unfold into something romantical with a marriage to follow, but allow the person a fulfilling life on their own terms. (This said, I hope I am not viewed as overly cheery. As long as the person has a life that is fulfilling to them, that’s all that really matters. I was diagnosed with a neurological disorder as an adult. There are things I cannot do on my own. Took me oodles of time to reach acceptance and accept the help offered to me. To my own parents my life seems devoid of what they consider to be a fulfilling life. As for me, I am happy just the same.)

  15. Cheryl-Lynn March 20, 2013 at 2:16 am #

    Good on you!!! I truly admire your way of thinking and especially appreciate your sharing with us this wonderful celebration for both your daughters. They sure do have a special mom! Bless you! Cl

  16. Jeremy March 20, 2013 at 9:57 pm #

    If in danger of death, even an infant is supposed to receive confirmation in the Roman Catholic Church. I would recommend that you push for it rather than deciding she won’t be “ready”–she doesn’t have to be ready in any particular way to receive the special seal on the soul imparted by the sacrament. First communion is a great thing to do–in the Eastern Catholic Church, even infants receive first communion–but don’t give up on confirmation.

    • phoebz4 March 21, 2013 at 1:14 pm #

      good to know 🙂

  17. Joanne March 22, 2013 at 7:35 am #

    That is so exciting! My son is almost eight and we are not really close to him receiving Communion but when he does, I would totally pay whatever for an outfit for him. God bless Maura on her First Communion day!

  18. Nellie March 23, 2013 at 6:37 am #

    Good for you for buying the dress! We went all out for our son’s first choir appearance at our church. New suit , tie and shoes. It’s one of the things i like about special needs parenting; our celebrations are greater, bigger, more over the top, maybe, because the obstacles our kids have to overcome are greater. I loved reading this, am now a follower

  19. My Dance in the Rain March 25, 2013 at 1:15 pm #

    I’m happy you got the dress she wanted despite the price tag. I forsee myself buying a few out of budget dresses in my future and I am sure they will al be totally worth it! I can’t wait to read about the event!


  1. Maura’s First Communion | Herding Cats - May 30, 2013

    […] went out and picked what was probably the most expensive dress in the shop.  And the matching shrug.  And gold sparkly shoes.  And at the last minute, a little […]

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