Stage 1 of Coming of Age in Mexico: Yoli’s First Communion
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Although I arrived ten minutes before Yoli’s first communion service began, Yolanda ( her mother and my housekeeper/friend of 18 years) and family must have arrived very early for they were in the second row of the church. Not willing to walk that long aisle and find there was no room left in their pew, I sat near the back, a choice I was grateful for once the incense dispersal started. Luckily, I was in an area between two open doors, so ventilation was better than it would have been trapped in the front where most of the action with the censer was taking place. Nonetheless, I interrupted the mood with a few sneezes. The elderly lady next to me was shocked to discover I wasn’t a Catholic. Other than that, the service went smoothly except for the mother in front of me, who kept laying her daughter’s candle on the top of the pew in front of her. All three times, it was mistakenly knocked off to the floor when the woman sitting in that pew sat down again after rising for some part of the ritual. After the hour-long service, I took Yoli and her family out to Viva Mexico for lunch. Since the family of Juan Pablo’s girlfriend had three boys doing their first communion as well, they were invited to come along so our table grew from ten to eighteen, counting Luz Maria, age 6 months, whose mother Alejandra I counseled at a summer camp for children at these very tables five years ago. In case you are curious, HERE are photos from that camp. Alejandra is the graceful dancer in Levis and camp T-shirt, second from the right. Time passes too quickly.The next time I show photos of Yoli in a long white dress and veil, she’ll probably be a bride!! Hopefully ten years or more from now.