Having gone through these sacraments last year with Thomas, I knew that we were going to be doing some special things with Annie as we did with Thomas. I was thrilled when my good friend Lindsay found this idea in Faith and Family magazine last summer and shared it with me. I knew this was something that I wanted to do with Annie before she made her First Penance. Get her ears pierced. You may wonder what getting your ears pierced has to do with making your first confession? Let me tell you.
You relate the pain of sin to the pain of getting your ears pierced. It will hurt, just as sin hurts and destroys your soul. After going to confession, your sins are wiped away, gone forever and your soul is left sparkling clean, just as it was after Baptism. Once the pain in your ears is gone, you are left with these sparkling gems in your ears. Seeing the earrings in your ears is a reminder of the beauty of confession and that once we confess our sins, God wipes them away and our soul is beautiful again. At least that is how I explained it all to Annie.
She has maybe asked once before about getting them pierced, but other than that, she really never mentioned it. Instead of waiting until she was begging to have them done, I wanted to surprise her and make it more of a gift to her. We planned a special day together the week before the big day. She knew we were going to the Pink Sisters to pray and practice and then out to buy a new dress.
When I asked her if she would like to get her ears pierced, this was the look on her face. I want to remember her shock and excitement forever. She couldn't believe it! I explained everything to her, about WHY we were going to get her ears pierced and I think she got it. But honestly, if she only ever remembers that she got them pierced for her First Penance, that's alright! It was a beautiful event that we shared together and I'm so grateful that I got to surprise her. It was so worth it!
She was so darling. She climbed right up into the chair and answered all the questions the woman was asking her in her shy voice. But the cutest part of it all was watching her look at herself in every mirror she passed by. I don't think she stopped smiling all day!
And so, one week later Annie made her First Penance. It was a beautiful day. I was so proud of her as we sat in the pew waiting for the service to begin. All of a sudden she seemed so old. How could we be here already? Second grade, ears pierced, and going to Confession?
Another milestone for Annie. Another step on the path to adulthood. Another big event to document and remember. My prayer for her is that she will love this sacrament as much as she did today. That she will desire to go to confession as often as possible to wipe away her sins. After we left church, we were driving to go out to lunch. While we were in Sherman she asks me if she had sinned yet or was her soul still clean!