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Holy Eucharist!

By Keri Kelly

“I’m not wearing the dress.” My eight-year-old daughter stood with her arms tightly crossed against her chest. “And I’m not going to the Holy Communion.”

With memories of my own Holy Communion — teased-out feathered Heather Locklear hair with an elaborate eighties dress to match one I’d seen on Dynasty — I was at a loss on what to say. But then again, this scene was no surprise. Kaci had been refusing to wear dresses since she’d wrestled out of an Easter ensemble six years prior.

“Just this one time,” I pleaded from inside the dressing room.

“Nope,” Kaci said, standing tall.

“The Holy Communion is only one day, Sweetie. And you’ll have a party, and you’ll get presents.” We’d already sent out invitations, the food was bought, and the cake had been ordered. There was no negotiation.

“I’m not going.” This dress was war, evident by her angry, scrunched face.

Her little sister booted my bladder, already taking the side of her big sister. I sat down and crossed my legs as best as I could before I wet the carpet. Then, I rubbed my swollen belly.

“Is sissy kicking in your stomach?” my daughter asked.

“Yes, but remember the baby isn’t in my stomach. She’s growing inside my uterus,” I said. For some reason, I always felt the need to teach Kaci correct pregnancy anatomy just like my mother had done for me. Like if I didn’t teach Kaci about the uterus, she would grow up one day thinking her baby would be swimming in the macaroni and cheese she’d eaten for lunch.

“Ewe,” she said like she always did whenever I said the word ‘uterus’.

I pulled out the secret weapon that I’d packed as a last resort — silver, sparkly sneakers. Kaci immediately grabbed the sneakers out of my hands and shoved both on her feet. She stood in front of the mirror with sparkly sneakers on, pretending to dribble an imaginary basketball between her legs. “I love these!”

“You can wear them instead of the fancy shoes,” I said.

She squared up to shoot the invisible basketball.

“And wouldn’t the dress look great with those sneakers?” I snuck in.

“Fine.” She stopped pretending to dribble. “I’ll wear the stupid dress.”


“But I’m still not going to the communion.” She crossed her arms defiantly.

I deflated and slumped in the seat, my pregnant belly protruding like a hill. “Is it the church service?”

She shook her head.

“The attention?”

“No,” she said.

“Is it the bread?”

Kaci bit her bottom lip.

“Oh, sweetie, the eucharist tastes like a wafer without sugar.”

"Don't make me eat it.” Tears rolled down Kaci’s face, leaving tiny wet rivers on her apple cheeks.

I slowly stood up and wrapped my arm around her shoulder. “I can promise you that no one ever got sick from eating the bread.”

She sniffed tears.

“It’s just a wafer,” I said.

“A wafer that comes from where babies live!” She burst into tears.

“Where babies live?” I asked, confused.

She glared at me with red, swollen eyes. “The bread is the Holy Uterus!”

I swallowed my giggles as I brought my oldest in for a tight hug. “You mean the Holy Eucharist.” As if her little sister knew I was giggling from the inside, she gave me another hard kick. I guess this one would play soccer.

— Keri Kelly

Keri Kelly is a professor, award-winning author and comedy writer, and mom. When she’s not writing, Keri can be found surfing small Jersey Shore waves with her family and fist-pumping. Learn more and say hello at

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