Thursday, August 28, 2008

Belated Baptism

So it's late and I've been playing catch-up with blog posts, but before I signed off I had to get the Baptism post done. It was such a beautiful event, there's no way I could go another week without paying tribute to the day. I'm pretty wiped, though so if I drone on and jump around, please forgive me.

Carter was Baptized August 3rd, 2008 at Kinsmen Lutheran Church. The date worked out thanks to a lot of flexibility from our family - it was really the only one weekend everyone could make work and we squeezed it in right before my brother-in-law left and just after my parents returned from vacation. The pastor, a good family friend, rearranged his vacation schedule to perform the Baptism for us and my dad and brother drove up to New Braunfels get my sister who cut her annual summer tubing excursion short to be there.

It was just a great weekend all-around. We had a wonderful family dinner at Gringo's the night before to celebrate the Baptism, to say good-bye to my brother-in-law who was leaving for Afghanistan and to wish Carter's great-grandmommy a happy birthday. I was so stressed about that dinner - it was Carter's first time at a restaurant, but he did very well and even if he had screamed, I don't think anyone would have noticed. It was one of many 'get-over yourself' lessons I've learned as a mom in the past three months.

I wish I could say that dinner just set the mood for the next day and I didn't stress at all after that, but the next morning, even with my mom there to help us get ready I was on edge. The morning started out superbly - just like every other Sunday morning. Carter was up at 7am on the dot, ate and played like a pro and went down for his nap a tad early! What a gentleman, letting mommy get ready at a more normal pace.

Then he woke up.

First mistake I made was not giving him his antacid medicine that morning - I was so preoccupied with getting him to nap on time I totally forgot. So when he woke up from his nap, his reflux was in full swing. Debating whether to give it to him before or after he ate, Stephen and I opted for the worst possible choice - before he ate. That was the second, and pivotal mistake. Of course he choked on the medicine (which aggravates the reflux even more) and went into a tale spin getting himself so worked up he wouldn't eat. So he cried himself to sleep without eating.

I knew immediately that spelled trouble. He was going to wake up smack dab in the middle of church starving! I went into panic mode, but you can't force a kid to eat who doesn't want to eat! So I tried to resolve the problem by verbally reviewing every wort-case scenario I could think of. (Very healthy and productive don't you think?)

So we get the little guy dressed, I get dressed, and Stephen gets khaki's. Now as a disclaimer, I am not that wife who always picks out my husband's outfits. But for special occasions, I won't lie, discussion is usually involved. And while I was assuming he would don a suit for this special church-occasion, he was obviously thinking it was church attire as normal.

With no time to change, we load into the car (late, of course) and I immediately go into rant-mode where I start incessantly talking, with nary a pause to breath, about how bad the morning is going, how late we are going to be, how horrible the ceremony will be, how stupid I feel about being dressed up compared to Stephen, etc., etc., etc., etc., etc. Stephen mean-while goes into "I can't say anything right, so I won't say anything at all" silent-mode. (Two modes that don't mix well I might add.)

To make matters worse, we then get caught by a TRAIN! I'm so agitated at this point, I'm practically vibrating in my seat. And that's when I said it. I don't remember the exact sequence of words, but it went something like this:

"Do you have any idea how today is going to go?? Of course not! Because when he screams in the middle of church YOU won't have to deal with him I will! Not that it matters, because we're so late now, we'll probably miss the whole G-damn Baptism!!"

Silenced and momentarily stunned at what had just come out of my own mouth (While my vocabulary leaves a lot to be desired, I don't normally throw around 'G-damn') - I looked at Stephen in shock and he was looking back at me, and then he burst out laughing. Of course I had to laugh at myself too (and quickly ask the Lord for some forgiveness). Wow - talk about some seriously misplace priorities! I had let the superficial appearance-oriented aspects of the day become more important than the sacrament.

Of course we made it to church on-time. I was still pretty edgy. I don't like being in front of people - I get uncomfortable when I think people are looking at me, but I survived. And Carter never even had his 'I'm starving' melt-down - just a few whimpers after the Baptism ceremony, and I was able to excuse myself and feed him.

With a huge sigh of relief that my child was now fed and successfully Baptized, we went back into church, and for the first time I really looked around at everyone that had come for this special day. Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, Friends, Grandparents and Great-Grandparents. There was so many people in that sanctuary that had come to act as Christian witnesses for our little son, I was overwhelmed.

Lunch afterward was beautiful - we had so much fun visiting with everyone, and our pastor was kind enough to host the event at his lovely home. It was fantastic.

That night as we watched Carter sleep Stephen and I talked about how the day had reinforced that he was a member of a very loving earthly family, but so much more importantly, it honored his status as a member of God's family. We were faced with a very big responsibility - to hold his hand and guide him down what might be a difficult path towards figuring out what God wants for his future.

I couldn't help but think of that scripture about the seeds the farmer sows - the ones on rocky soil, the ones on the path, the one's among the thorns, and finally the ones in the rich soil that grow to bear great fruit. I know the parable is meant to show the condition of one's heart when hearing the Word, but I couldn't help but think that night of all the family around Carter as his 'rich soil'. He has a deep network of people around him, especially his amazing sponsors my sister and brother-in-law that will be there for him to nurture and guide him in God's truth. What a blessing to feel like we're not alone in that responsibility!

So with that, I'm signing off. I'll regret staying up this late in the morning, but I just had to say 'thank-you' to all the people that came to that wonderful event and to our family for teaching us and raising us in the Christian faith and for helping us raise Carter in that same faith.

No comments: