“I don’t know how we are going to make it through the actual day without totally losing it.” My voice cracks as I turn to Lusia, one of the other moms in our CCD Class. I am welling up with tears but fighting the full break down. She nods and I can see she tears in her eyes, I think she is trying not to cry as well.
“Okay boys and girls, come sit on the floor.” Ms. Sally says loudly over the ruckus. Ryan and the other six children are running amuck in the classroom. This is usually the way the Special Ed CCD class starts, a game of chase around the room. Ryan loves this part the best.
These kids have been together for over a year and actually like each other. As much as Ryan usually puts a verbal barrage not to come, once he’s here he will join in for most of the class. Ms. Sally has done such a great job with this class. Each week, I am always surprised what she pulls off.
When she first brought us all together and told us her plan, I remember being cautiously optimistic at what seemed like a truly ambitious plan:
“We will meet every other week, and continue through the summer. It’s not the usual way of CCD but I think it’s important they have continuity and plus we have more ground to cover. Everyone okay with that?” She looks at each of us crammed around the table.
“So, they are…allowed…to take the communion?” I asked and immediately felt bad for sounding like someone who did not understand what it’s like to have a child with special needs. In my meager defense, I assumed Ryan would be much older by the time he was able to understand how sacred receiving the bread is. No one seemed bothered by my question as I look around a little red-faced. A few are nodding and looking intently at Ms. Sally for an answer.
“The Church’s stance is as long as they are able to understand the bread is not regular food, they can receive Holy Communion. So when we feel they are able to understand that we can make a decision when the service will be.” She looks around us all again. “Sound good?”
There is a cacophony of nods and happy sounding “yes’” in agreement. I am nodding like a bobble head. I truly did not believe this would happen.
“Ryan, Ms. Sue said to sit down.” I say as I walk towards him. He is running ahead of the children with a huge smile on his face. I hate to break it up, but we have let them get a little over stimulated. “Let’s go, stop running and sit down.” Miraculously a few children listen and come sit in front of her wheely chair. This takes away Ryan’s fun of being the leader, so he reluctantly follows.
“Okay let’s start with the sign of the cross.” Ms. Sally says after they all are seated.