"As Christians we are only here to learn to love and learn how to love. All of the math and composition are just extra."
Our pastor is charismatic and very charming and got the stink eye from every teacher in the sanctuary as he delivered that line in this morning's homily. The kids hung on every word and every parent was wistful as he spoke about what he hoped our students took with them from the school year. It seems so bittersweet to sit in the sanctuary year after year and watch our students grow in their faith and in life. It's astonishing how quickly the time is passing and how many end of year masses I have been to.
The high point of Father's homily was his reference to a time when he was in second grade and got caught throwing gravel on the playground. His teacher, Mrs. Parks, made him and his two accomplices sit on the steps outside for 15 minutes as their punishment. He said though, as she exiled them outside the classroom that
"as she closed the door she winked at us and blew us a kiss. As a second grader I didn't really know what she meant by that but in that moment I knew it would all be OK."
He went on to talk about how quickly we move between tasks and events and sometimes forget to show our gratitude or support for someone that we care about. He reminded us that we should always blow kisses to each other and remember that, in his own way, God is always blowing kisses to us as a reminder of his love and support for us. He encouraged the students to blow kisses to their teachers, aides and friends as a thank you and it was darling to see hundreds of children blowing kisses around the sanctuary.
My girlfriend and I cried most of the way through mass this morning but we were super careful to be sure and blow kisses as we left with our children who had just been promoted to the next grade. Today was such a sweet reminder of how quickly time passes and how easily we can forget to be warm, generous and loving to each other.
For the rest of the summer I will try to remember to blow plenty of kisses at these two. My second grader and my fifth grader. I don't know when I will be OK with them growing so fast.