If you've been reading here for awhile, you may remember my issue with All Saints Day last year. Interestingly enough, I was not asked back this year. The calendar said Halloween/All Saints Day party so I guess there was an attempt to appease me in that little thing. However, the craft was a spooky spider and everything was Halloween themed with no attention at all to the saints. It made me a little sad.
Friday morning when it was time to get Dawson dressed, he came into my room and said, "Um...Mama, I changed my mind, I want to be Batman."
"Well Dawson, today is All Saints Day and you're going to dress up like the Pope. Remember?"
"Yeah, but I still want to be Batman."
There was a very tiny part of me that wanted to say okay, but I knew that would be a missed opportunity for all of us. "Dawson, you can dress like Batman any day, but today is a day we honor all the holy men and women in our faith. These are people who are truly heroes, people we want to be like. Let's dress like a saint today to remember them."
He agreed and after donning the Pope outfit decided he looked pretty cool. We practiced his Papal Blessing a few times and headed out the door. On the way to school I said a little prayer. I had a feeling he would be the only saint there and I was worried that no one would know who he was or worse yet, make fun of his costume
The classroom was full of animals, army men and skeletons until a tiny Pope walked in and all heads turned. "Wow!" we heard throughout the room, "Look at Dawson!" With all eyes on him he gave out his first official blessing of the day and suddenly was the hit of the party.
When I picked him up, he was still wearing the outfit. Later that night at our neighborhood All Saints Day party, he won first place for his costume. I think he handed out at least 20 blessings. He also won a prize for guessing the correct amount of candy corn in the jar.
Just for the record, I don't have a problem with costumes. I think it's fun to dress up. However, I think All Saints Day is such a missed opportunity to teach our kids about real heroes, to let them delve into the amazing lives of the saints who have built our faith. We could do that everyday for years and still not scratch the surface so I don't think it's too much to ask that our Catholic preschool make the effort to do it for just one day.
God was so faithful to Dawson that day. He was so faithful to me. I think it will be a day Dawson will remember for a long time and I'm glad when he does, he will conjure up images of a shiny Crucifix, a Papal outfit and a pretty darn good Papal Blessing.