Perfection consists not in doing extraordinary things, but in doing ordinary things extraordinarily well.
I think it’s understood of how much I love and adore Kyle. I think it’s also a given of how proud I am of him and the young man he has become. However, there are those times that I am really truly impressed, not specifically by his words or actions, but by his heart, guiding his words and actions. Now that makes me very proud of him!
Kyle was taking alter boy classes all last week. Please excuse the old terminology; the persons who help Father out during mass are now referred to as servers, since young ladies serve the church just as young men.
First let me explain how the week unfolded for Kyle. Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, I left work at 5:00 pm, to rush into Delmont to pick Kyle up and cart him to Latrobe, going straight to the church and barely making it on time. Then, after a little over an hour of practice, we had to rush to my parents house to get a late night dinner and do homework. Then Kyle had to be hurried back to Delmont, a 40-minute trip, so he could get his shower and brush his teeth before heading straight to bed. I did explain to Kyle that swimming lesson was omitted from the week since serving the church trumped anything else going on. And you know what? He understood.
I must say, I didn’t know how Kyle was going to react to the classes or his new obligation. It’s not like when I was in school and all the boys were taught together and expected to serve. At that time, it was a sort of right of passage for the young guys once they received the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. Kyle received the Holy Eucharist two years ago and unfortunately, we didn’t know to sign him up for the classes.
Kyle’s focus was like nothing I’ve ever seen from him. He was very reverent during all the classes, humble and sincere in his actions. He listened attentively to the priest and his helper and even tried to help the other students toward the end of the week, like he had been doing this his whole life. He never tried to talk until we were in the vestibule of the church and he stayed attentive for the hour plus training. When he kneeled, he did so with a purpose and his hands were folded in the praying position across his check, reminiscent of a saint.
He never complained before or after the classes, to my parents or myself. The only thing he did mention to me after class the first day was that he was very sore. I asked him where, and he said, “All over, Aunt Heather, my whole body is sore.” I told him in reply, “It’s because you were tensing up.” Not that I said it to him, but it was also because he never stood in one spot with his back straight for so long before, and he never knelt with good posture and perfect praying hand position before. In fact, I’ve never seen Kyle actually try to do a correct genuflection until this week. But he truly worked on perfecting his stands, posture and his actions, every day.
He was nervous, I could tell, but he followed the lead of the priest and the experienced servers to a “T”. At one point, I saw him make this very long and distorted face while he was kneeling getting ready to ring the bells. I couldn’t imagine what that was all about until he was sitting beside me. He started to make the same face again, and then he let out a big yawn in his hands. At that point, I put two and two together… he was to keep his hands in the prayer position across his chest and he knows I never let him yawn with his mouth hanging open. So he was being respectful trying to hold it in while keeping his perfect position. That poor little tired guy. At one point the priests’ helper asked if there was any part of the mass that the servers would like to go over again or practice. Kyle was the only one to raise his hand. Keeping in mind, Kyle volunteered for more “run throughs” than anyone else. He said he wanted to practice ringing the bells, and so he did. He practiced until he was told that he did it perfectly. Then I could see satisfaction and acceptance on his face. He was not going to stop until he was the best server he could possibly be. I must say, the priests were extremely patient and not only taught the servers the duties but also the “why” of what they were doing… reinforcing the faith and the catholic teaching. I know this helped Kyle out because he likes to know all the details and he does enjoy learning.
Before going to Sunday mass, Kyle asked me if he was allowed to serve at church. O my, I couldn’t believe he wanted to put his skills to the test! He was ready to serve in front of the entire church! I was so happy. I told him that we have to get his schedule and I’d let him know. I did mention that he better pay attention during mass so he doesn’t forget anything. And you know what, he did, including practicing his praying hands position and his genuflection. Of course, I don’t expect anything less from Kyle… he is an over-achiever and a perfectionist at heart and these detailed actions and lack of verbal kick back make him extraordinary.