“We were indeed buried with him through baptism into death,
so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead
by the glory of the Father,
we too might live in newness of life.”
— Yesterday’s epistle reading (Romans 6:3-9)
After a bit of haphazard planning, Sunday turned out exceptionally beautiful. Our very best friends (and 1/2 of KTC’s godparents) were on day three of their visit with us, it was All Souls Day, and my boy was baptized into the Catholic Church. (Were I a negative person, I would add in the time change and harp on the ways in which it threatens the sanity of sleep-desperate parents. Good thing, then, that I’m not.) The day started for us at the early mass, to which we were late, as usual, even with friends trying to help us get out the door. Finn, who has not yet mastered the art of whispering, received an unexpected B+ for his mass behavior that morning, with only the occasional slip-up to ask, “what’s Jesus doin’?”
After mass, a group of eleven of us squeezed into our apartment where we tag-team cooked a poorly planned (my bad) and yet delicious (thanks, friends) breakfast. The radiators remained off, as the house was warmed by the buzzing around of five little boys. We ate, scattered about, as we’re a whole six chairs too short for a group of that size. I worked desperately to keep my first born’s excited hands out of the eyeballs of his closest friend, tried to find a quiet corner in which I could rock my newborn, and attempted to break up some fights. A tooth was knocked out by a giant checker. It was a wild time.
And then, just as the season’s first flakes of snow began to fall, we were off to KTC’s welcoming to the Church. A disorganized rush out the door resulted in a lost wallet that still remains to be seen. I had to curl into a ball and lie in the trunk because our car was overloaded. Upon arriving at the church, we waited and waited for the late priest. I changed a near blowout diaper on the floor and struggled with a cranky baby and even crankier toddler. We were given a Powerade bottle full of holy water. A tired and sick Finn whined a cried from basically the time we walked into the building until he was asleep in his bed at home hours later.
None of this chaos felt especially new. And yet, in between the wrangling of two children, few weeks go by in which my eyes don’t well up with tears during the mass, as I feel a sort of sacred, wonderful joy in being able to share the experience with my children. In that same vein, there is something especially beautiful to me about the baptism of a baby. Maybe it’s the newness of the experience, not having grown up in a tradition that practiced infant baptism. Maybe it’s because I feel the heaviness of seeing my own child transformed. My baby, that is, who knows almost nothing of the world around him, participating in an act that screams LOVE! and JOY! and HOPE! in a way that nothing else I can yet share with him does. The mystery, which feels so binding to both Creator and the created who are also experiencing this same union, is so spectacular and ordinary all at once. It was with great honor that I watched on as Townes received such a gift.
Congratulations to you, my sweet, sweet boy. And thank you to our dear friends who bore witness to this incredible experience and to four of the most incredible godparents that I could hope for.