Samuel’s baptism was this past Sunday.
Before I go any further, I feel the need for a clarification. I’ve discovered in the past two weeks that a surprising number of people thinks baptism = baby drowning. Apparently people who don’t go to church think we’re all lunatic cultist with a predilection for child abuse. So no. Sam’s baptism was not a full immersion baptism. We’re Episcopalian. We believe in discrete amounts of hand cupped water poured on the forehead. It’s Baptists who believe in full dunking, and for the record they are doing this to adults. I don’t think anybody fully immerses babies. And if they do please don’t tell me about it. I don’t want to know about ritual baby torture. Yuck.
Now that we have my sanity defense out of the way, I will say that his baptism was lovely. My Mother, in the role of Godmother, and myself were a part of the ceremony. Witness to the event were my father and brother, Richard, plus Julia and her family. It was wonderful to have everyone there and I found myself surprisingly sentimental about the whole thing. Given that my normal level of sentimentality hovers somewhere around disdain and discomfort this made for an awkward personality fit, but thankfully I don’t think it’s a long lasting effect.
Something I felt particularly sentimental about was the fact that Samuel was the fourth generation to wear his baptismal gown. My Grandfather and his brother wore it. My father and his sister wore it. My brother and I both wore it. And now Sam has been baptized in it as well. Up until we put it on him I spent a lot of time fretting about people thinking I was putting my son in a dress, something his father continued to fret about even on the day of. (I believe his exact words were, “you look silly, Sam.”) But for me once I saw him in the outfit I was so, so, so glad that Mom made such a to do about it. Some traditions are worth preserving even if it means a church full of people think your son is wearing a dress. This day was not about them. It was about Samuel. And family. And tradition. And community. And by God he was cute in that dress! Besides, as Richard pointed out the baby in the ‘modern’ baptism outfit looked ridiculous in his ruffled one-piece complete with pantaloons. Samuel may have looked like we plucked him from the pages of a Victorian photo album, but at least I will never have to defend pantaloons to him.
You’re welcome Sam.