My oldest made his Confirmation last weekend. As one of the seven holy sacraments (and the second of the three sacraments of initiation), it’s kind of a big deal in the Catholic religion because it marks a move into spiritual adulthood … Sort of like a bar mitzvah, but not.
Like all formal church events, there was a dress code to follow. Girls were expected to wear a dress or skirt and blouse (there were rules about length, style, shoe type, etc.) and boys were required to wear a dress shirt, tie, dress pants (or “slacks,” as my grandma would have called them) and dress shoes. Jacket optional. This “church-appropriate” attire was hidden underneath the ceremonial white robe (think high school or college graduation, for those of you unfamiliar).
No suit … Phew! Just the thought gives me agita. Flashback to four years ago when I searched high and low through four states (yes, four!) to find a boy’s size 8 navy blue suit for First Holy Communion. Because every 8-year-old Catholic boy also makes his Communion in early May, and most average-sized second graders wear a size 8, it was like finding a needle in a haystack! Thank goodness for the internet and my super-shopper mom. Side note: I relived this experience last year for my younger son who was too small to fit into his brother’s beautiful, expensive, worn-only-once, suit. Despite third times being a charm, I was relieved not to have to go suit hunting again this time around.
So without a suit to worry about, I though clothes shopping for this event would be a snap … Until I remembered the shoes. My 11-year-old wears a men’s size 9-1/2. Other than those two hours on Saturday in church, he had no need for dress shoes and would outgrow them before he could wear them again. A new pair of sneakers would have been a more practical purchase, but the religious education director said no sneakers. For a few days, I grumbled, complained and pondered my options. Then it hit me: If sandals were good enough for Jesus, then Sperry’s would be good enough for a 6th grader. I bought the soft loafers instead of the boat shoes … Comfortable, yet still dressy — the perfect compromise.
With brown loafers in hand (or on feet, to be exact), the outfit was complete: Tan “slacks,” a blue gingham dress shirt and a blue and red striped tie. Very young professional. Luckily for me, my son likes to dress up once in a while, so I’m sure this outfit will be recycled for the next “formal” event … Assuming he doesn’t grow out of it first.
Happy Confirmation, H!
P.S. A huge thank you to my parents, sister and nephew for coming to town to celebrate with us. You guys rock! Love you.