The day finally arrived. We got our “baby” baptized. Can you even still call your child a “baby” when they are 10 months old and can somehow boss you around without even being able to utter a single meaningful word?
David and I were both raised Catholic. We got married in a Catholic Church and will be raising Charlotte and her future siblings in the Catholic Church. But let me be clear- this is not a post about religion. The truth is, when it comes to religion, I don’t really care what you believe in. If you’re a good person, and you have a good heart then we can be friends. If you say you believe in God but you suck as a person, well then I am not interested in knowing you.
The real reason I feel compelled to write about Charlotte’s Baptism, is because I think it is important for everyone to know my personal beliefs on why you should baptize your child when they are as young as possible.
Here is the thing, while we always intended to baptize Charlie, we dropped the ball on getting this whole thing together. This quite honestly seems like the perfect opportunity to publicly blame my husband. However, given that this is a post about our daughter’s Baptism, it seems a bit un-Catholic and just unholy in general to do so....and also because most of us know that God’s watching. What’s up God! So with that, I will just say...WE dropped the ball (you’re welcome babe).
Now while the bad news is that we waited until 10 months to christen our little rugrat, the good news is, that the man I married just happens to have a first cousin who recently became a priest. I mean if that isn’t a ticket to heaven... I’m not sure what is. And just like Jesus miraculously turned water into wine, we somehow managed to get my husband’s family in from Cali, my husband’s cousin in from Washington DC and we pulled together a last minute intimate Baptism that was truly special.
It was so special for us to have my husband’s cousin perform the Baptism. But not only was it special for the obvious reasons, but it could not have been more perfect given the realities of baptizing a 10 month old.
Charlotte was 4 days short of 10 months...she weighs 22 pounds. Now close your eyes and imagine a baptism. That’s right.... perhaps you’re imagining two parents standing up at the alter holding a baby dressed in a beautiful white gown and bonnet while the baby is still, and quiet, drifting in and out of sleep.
SIKE....NOPE... first of all, finding a beautiful and delicate Christening gown is an easy task for a three month old. But finding Charlie a Christening gown reminded me of the disappointment I often felt after attending a sample sale and realizing that thanks to to my love of carbs, my body would never actually fit into size 2 clothing. Grandma Nancy to the rescue, and we we were able to squeeze our little nugget into the most beautiful, handmade, vintage looking gown. And then, while all 22 pounds of Charlotte were sweating (as was mommy) she tried to climb out of my arms determined to crawl around the chapel in hopes to use the statue of the Virgin Mary as her next prop to stand up on.
And while she wiggled with the strength similar to that of Noah building an Ark, the fabulous bow that took the place of a bonnet, had been ripped from her head and hung around her neck in a manner much more suitable for rosary beads.
The beautiful ceremony continued and it was time for the Baptismal Water. But the build up was just too much for Charlotte. She saw what she believed to be a bath tub, which by the way bath time happens to be her favorite time of day. So she clawed her tiny but strong hands onto the sides of of the Baptismal font and tried to propel her body into the “tub” of Baptismal Water, only to look somewhat disappointed that she got teased out of her bath, and instead got a quick hair wash without an opportunity to play with a single squirt toy or rubber ducky.
The beautiful ceremony came to an end and we celebrated with an Italian style feast- undoubtedly Charlotte’s favorite part of the day. And that evening as I placed my sweet girl’s dinner on her high chair tray and handed her a sippy cup filled with water, I told her “you have been freed of all original sin sweet pea. Are you gonna be a good girl for mommy?” She heard me. She understood me. I know she did. Because she looked at me squarely in the eye, dangled her sippy cup over the side of her tray, and as I said “no Charlie don’t do that” she smiled right at me and then proceeded to fling her cup directly onto the floor, happily watching the water spray everywhere. She was pleased with herself and was clearly pumped to take advantage of the blank slate God so generously gave her.
In the end, despite the small challenges that came with baptizing Charlotte at 10 months, it was truly a very special, intimate and beautiful day thanks to our families. And while she may not yet understand the significance of this day, we look forward to watching her grow, and one day telling her all about it.