My wife and I were getting ready to go to confession with the three oldest girls. The boy, who is six, said he wanted to go too.

“You can’t,” the girls told him with the glee that nine and ten year old girls take in telling younger brothers they can’t do something. Sometimes I think their perfect job would be at amusement parks telling little boys they’re too short to ride this most funnest ride evah.

The boy started getting upset saying he wanted to confess and why do the girls always get to do all the fun stuff. Now, don’t get the wrong idea. This wasn’t a coll to holinesss,. This was him being angry that he didn’t get to do what his older sisters did.

My twelve year old told him that he’d have to admit all the bad things he’d done. Well, as you can imagine this gave the six year old some pause. His pause gave me pause.

He thought for a moment and I started piling everyone into the van. We went to Church in silence for the most part. Silence is a relative term when you’ve got five kids. Silence means nobody cried, screamed, threw up, or dropped a drink.

We kneeled down in the back and prepared for confession. My four year old girl made a great show of genuflecting and made sure I saw how holy she was. The girls started filing into the confessional one at a time. (Remind me to talk to the ten year old about keeping her voice down in confession. Thank goodness she’s one of the well behaved ones or it could’ve been really embarassing.)

Just before it was my turn, the boy leaned over and said “Pleeeeeeeeeeeease!”

“You can’t,” I whispered and stood up.

“I’ve done lots of bad things,” the boy pleaded. “I didn’t tell you all of them.”