Mindful and Special Church Moments


Going to church with Michael is always an adventure. I never know what to expect with him! But lately, thank goodness, there have been good surprises to reflect upon. Michael loves the social atmosphere of church. Why am I not surprised? He is my little chatterbox after all. He loves to greet everyone at the beginning of mass before getting settled in the quiet room with me, and now is once again enjoying going up to the altar with all the other kids for the priest’s blessing at the beginning of mass before Sunday school begins. I go with him, of course, as he still needs the support, but I don’t mind. I see that he is getting positive feelings from all of this. After that, we are in the quiet room where he will play, talk to the other little ones who are there, and in the last two weeks, I’m very excited that he is reading a children’s bible book by himself, with me helping for a bit. He’ll do his little “dancing” which is rocking back and forth with his little clinker in his hand moving rhythmically when the children’s choir is singing, and then he’ll go up with me for the “Our Father” prayer where all the children gather at the altar.

This is where the incident in question occurred today, that I will call funny, sweet and beautiful. You see, Michael has a thing with Moms and grandmas, women mainly, as he knows they are nurturing and kind. When he sees a soft soul interacting with her children or grandchildren you will notice he gravitates to her, asks her name and will talk with her. Yesterday he went a step further. While waiting in line for communion, he noticed one of the grandmas of the a cute little girl who is often in the room with us. He spontaneously reached out and hugged her smelling deeply into her neck before I could even blink an eye. Everyone knows Michael at our church and would even get annoyed with me for apologizing knowing he is loving and means no harm. I stood there shocked, amused, and then he said it:

“Mmm, you smell good. Like a peach cream.”

All of us in line laughed, including Michael. It was a laugh of delight as he is delightful, innocent. It made me feel so happy too to see how he blesses everyone around him. I know so many people’s names as they get to know Michael very quickly and me, Joanne, Michael’s Mom. At times like these,  I remember what life is supposed to be like, fun, unpredictable. As an adult, I worry. I worry about health, money, crime, the planet etc. But being with Michael, I am transported back to living in the moment, and how living mindfully will serve the greater good.


Michael is an all or nothing kid.  He has often proclaimed beautiful things while hugging me and exclaiming how God has blessed him with the best Mommy. Consequently when upset he will announce how he wants to go live with friends of ours’ Mommies (there are a few choice ladies whom he will refer to.). He’s done the same thing to his Dad in both instances, and we have come to accept Michael’s emotional highs and lows as part of who he is . The lows are very hard, but the highs are incredible. I remember what we’re all here to do, touch someone, make a difference, and bring peace and love into a broken world and heal it.

Exceptional Parents, what special gifts do your Exceptional Children bring into their encounters with others? Remember, they make look occasionally like eccentricities, but they are pure and beautiful and give the world beauty and those around it purpose. Don’t discourage your children from being themselves. Let them bring their unique gifts, whatever it is, into every encounter with love and joy. They and the world will not regret it. Until next time.

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