It didn't bode well for my hankie when we heard "Once I Was Seven Years Old" on the way to church. William and Aden were already there, supporting the early batch of confirmation candidates, and Rob, Daniel and I rode in silence to meet them at the 10:30 service. Our contemplative mood was broken only by the sound of my sniffles. Kids grow up too fast, and the pace of milestone markers continues to increase.
William was confirmed at 10:30 alongside several of his best childhood friends. Carstenn, Adam, Will C, Ryan and William all attend a youth breakfast group together on Wednesdays (some have been going for three years) and have been on sports teams or in classes together since kindergarten. Emotions engulfed me as I heard Rev Mark intone their names one by one as he moved slowly around the semi-circle of kneeling teens. Parents crowded behind the candidates to place hands on shoulders or shiny heads. I could barely reach William and had to hook my finger into his collar to keep from tumbling over the long legs and big feet of the young man next to him.
At the end we were happy and relieved. The confirmation classes started in February, and both parents and youngsters attended a class per week, with a break over summer. William and his friends were so lucky to have a tremendous youth leader and volunteer instructors, and they stayed the course despite time constraints and pulling obligations.
At the end of the service, we sang "Seek Ye First," one of my favorite hymns and one that we played at our wedding. I expected more waterworks but was surprised to find my voice strong, as William turned toward me and directed a high-wattage smile in our direction. It was beautiful that the confirmation class sought membership in the church and I hope they will always find community and support in its embrace.