One of the primary struggles we had when making the decision to convert to Catholicism was how to handle it with our children–particularly our son Charlie and oldest daughter Schuyler. When we first started talking about it with them, Charlie and Schuyler (11 and 9 at the time) were confused and hesitant. Change is hard, especially at that age. After lots of conversations with us and with the priest who led us through the RCIA process, though, they came around. It also seemd to help that they had to make the decision to come into the Church themselves. We couldn’t “make” them Catholic. It was also difficult to explain to our daughter Emma, who was then only 6. Even though we were able to decide on our own to have her baptized, we still spent a lot of time trying to help her understand at her level why we were no longer attending the only congregation she’d every known.
Fast forward to the present and the reason for this post: we are so thrilled with how our kids have embraced this change. For First Communion, we got our now-eight-year-old Emma a “Saintly Sisters” nun doll. Well, after that, Schuyler just had to have one, too, so she bought one with her own money. When both girls got their dolls, they had to decide how to play with them. So, what did they do? They used their blocks to re-create a Mass (complete with tabernacle, baptismal font, missal with the Nicene Creed written out, and tiny “hosts” cut out of paper) in our basement, with the nuns (as well as a few Barbies) in attendance: