Sunday, July 1, 2007

The Catholic Community Welcomes...

Here is, what is so far, my most entertaining recipe for fun.

1 10-month-old, water-loving, hungry, breast-fed baby, un-napped
1 2-year-old, fire-loving toddler, un-napped
1 Mommy dressed in a top that apparently entices said breast-fed baby
1 hard-of-hearing elderly priest with a kooky sense of humor
1 baptismal candle, lit
1 atheist sister
1 agnostic brother-in-law who really hates sitting
1 early evening baptismal ceremony

Combine all. Order doesn't matter. The result is...Hesperos' baptismal ceremony from a couple of months ago.

Hesperos was welcomed into the Catholic community in early May, an event delayed initially for lack of a godparent and then due to that pesky event called Lent, during which marriages and baptisms may not occur (apparently deaths are okay).

His baptism was, a bit sadly, much lower-key than Helios', who had been baptised on Christmas morning with many family members in attendance. But, we had no time for sadness as we were busy managing the other challenges of the evening -- such as Hesperos doing to get to what he felt must be the only viable food source around. (Mommy can't remember the last time she was man-handled so, but is fairly certain it was when she was taking public transportation on a full train.)

Aunt Tiffany and Uncle Igor were present, which was surely done through kindly family duty, since the last time they saw the inside of a church was when Helios was baptised. (The time before that was when Mommy and Daddy got married, leading Mommy to believe that the surest way to ensure Aunt Tiffany has exposure to any faith is for Mommy to keep creating events where sacraments are given.) Their presence had the side benefit because Aunt Tiffany was able to act as unofficial photographer, a role which apparently consists of her taking pictures of Mommy's not-so-small rear end as she mounts the steps to the baptismal font while trying to wrestle with a child. (Thanks, sis.)

Hesperos was all over the place, being a regular wiggly worm, and becoming totally unhinged when he saw the water (water being among his favorite things, after eating). He threw his not-inconsequential body weight to and fro, finally coming to rest when he was tipped backward for the holy water to be dribbled down his head. Lest anyone suspect that it exorcised any tyrannical spirits from his now-blessed corpus, Hesperos pulled himself upward and attempted to latch onto Mommy's nose (as if to say, "that was fun, now let's get down to business"). Mommy was not amused.

The officiating priest, who regularly likes to have side conversations with himself, lit the baptismal candle and handed it to Daddy. Unfortunately, Daddy was then also holding Helios who insisted that he should be allowed to hold the fire. (Think Ren and Stimpy right now and imagine Helios' glazed-over eyes, saying "fire, fire!") One child lunged for water, one lunged for fire. At worst, had both succeeded, they would have cancelled each other out (small solace though that is to the victims of their destruction). While this was going on, Father Tom did what might, in a lesser man, have prompted a heart attack as he lifted 23-pound Hesperos (it sounds like he's a Thanksgiving turkey) and moved him about in the shape of the cross. It is no exaggeration to write that Father Tom asked for some divine intervention to help steady his elderly arms while elevating him (specifically, "Dear Jesus, don't let me drop this baby").

After the ceremony was over, Hesperos got to have his afternoon meal and he promptly spent the rest of the service thoroughly relaxed. And what did Helios think of all this to-do about his baby brother, you may well ask? Helios celebrated in the way that little boys have celebrated church (and leaving church) since time eternal by rushing outside to the slide where he untucked his shirt and got in a few quick "whooshes!" before going to the family dinner. Daddy (himself a recent Easter-confirmed Catholic) and Hesperos stood by the sidelines and watched.

1 comment:

Rebecca said...

You look so skinny!