Writing a letter to your confirmation candidate

It seems that one of the biggest events in confirmation preparation in this country is the letters of support to be given to the confirmation candidates during their mandatory retreats.

I have three such letters saved on this blog:

Confirmation letter to my daughterConfirmation letter to my fourth sonConfirmation letter to to my third son
I've asked my children what they remember about the letter they got from me and their dad, and also what they remembered about the letters they received. 
The answer was not much, or at least nothing specific. In general they were happy to have gotten a bag full of letters and there was a sense of feeling loved and supported. I guess that's the main thing - for them to have a sense that this is an important step in their spiritual growth, and that people they know, love and respect have taken the time out of their lives to let them know that! So here are some tips on procuring and writing letters for young confirmation candidates. Start thinkin…

Accepting the Woman You Are - My latest on Catholicmom.com

When I married into Mr. Pete’s family, I inherited a lot of his family lore. One of those tales was about Dear Aunt Kerry, who came to a formal family wedding in hot pants! I saw photographic evidence. It was more of a hot pants suit complete with the bright colors so popular in the 1970s, pointed collars, and knee-high boots with colored hosiery. It was quite stylish for 1970. But my husband, who was about 12 at the time, and his younger siblings thought it was hysterically funny. So funny that the story stood the test of time and they were still talking about it when I came into the family years later!

1971 Fashion, Hot Pants - 1 of 3
Classic Film via Flickr, licensed cc 2.0

The story came up this year when I was shopping to wear something to my nephew’s wedding. I wanted to wear something stylish but not silly, cute but not ridiculous, fun but not frumpy. Then I found the perfect dress. Okay, it was a little short and a little too tight. It was also sleeveless which made it the trifecta of bad dress choices for my particular body type. I tried it on and it fit okay but you’d have to ignore my obvious figure flaws before you could say it looked great!
That’s when it occurred to me: I was probably the same age as Aunt Kerry was when she walked bravely into family folklore with her neon-colored hot pants suit. I’m sure she didn’t want to be ridiculed or remembered that way. I think I finally understood where she was coming from. She was trying to dress the girl she used to be. I know in many ways I don’t feel like the middle-aged mom and now grandma that I am!  But the reality is, I am not the woman I was, and I have to embrace the new woman I have become.