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Friday, August 11, 2006  

I'm Gonna Wash Those Sins Right out of My Hair

M. Small got Hell-proofed last weekend.

Our church prefers to call it "baptism," though. It's something Trash and I had been meaning to do for a while. But between one thing and another, it just took us some time to get around to it. First there was his premature birth, and then the chaos of coming home from the hospital, and then the fact that his immune system wasn't up to being around large groups of people, and then there was the issue of Trash and I not actually belonging to a church or knowing how to go about getting it done.

We still don't, officially, but now our kid does. Being baptized and all. Which I guess means he can get us in even on busy Sundays. The deacon working the rope line might be all, "Sorry, all full up," but then M. Small will flash his little membership card and we go straight to the VIP lounge where the communal wine runs $800 a bottle.

No, actually, that won't happen. Our church is pretty informal, which I like. It's also close, which I like even better. The chapel isn't air-conditioned, so services are often held in the much more casual parish hall. This was one of those Sundays. We'd also decided to have M. Small baptized at the 8:30 service instead of the 10:00, because some people had other places to be afterward (including us, but I'll get to that in the next entry). The thing is that M. Small is quite an active and talkative almost-two-year-old, even for an almost-two-year-old, so our plan was to drop him off at the church day care for the first part of the service, then go down and get him when his big moment was nigh. This plan sort of fell apart when we remembered that the 8:30 service doesn't have day care. Yet another reason for us to not move very quickly most Sunday mornings, but it wasn't going to help us today. "Noisy kids don't really bother anyone but their own parents," the priest assured us the day before. "You haven't been in church with our kid," we told her.

Surprisingly, though, he was better-behaved than he ever has been in church. I wondered what powerfully maturing experience had befallen him in the two weeks since our last attempt to bring him into the service (in which his repeated screams of FAN! demonstrated his mastery of certain nouns if not his piety), but then realized that this was the first time we'd sat with him in the front row so he could see what was going on. Remarkably, all the people doing stuff at the front of the room seemed to hold his attention better than the backs of people's heads, which is what he's used to seeing in front of him. He found it even more interesting than turning around to look at the FAN!.

After the sermon -- and our priest's sermons are so interesting and well-delivered that I often catch myself paying attention -- it was time for the big moment. Trash and I carried M. Small up to the front, where a salad bowl full of holy water had been set up for the procedure. Another kid -- a decently-aged seven-month-old -- was also getting baptized at the same service, and his moms had brought the bowl to use. Trash's brother, his wife, and my sister DeBitch the elder were on hand as godparents, as well as Trash's sister from some campground via cell phone. We went through the thing, and everyone did great. The priest had warned us that most kids, especially older kids, don't like being tipped upside-down backwards for the baptism. I didn't tell her that M. Small is used to being placed in the bathtub hair-first.

So M. Small got baptized, and then the other kid did. There was the usual solemn moment, and then the other kid's three-year-old brother crowed, "Yay, baby!" I think that was my favorite part.

So now that M. Small is baptized, Trash and I should really probably keep going to church with some frequency. We tried to convince the godparents that it's their job to come get him and take him to church on Sundays so we can sleep in, but none of them were buying. It's up to us now. Which is fine. I just wish we didn't have to sit in the front row.

posted by M. Giant 7:44 PM 4 comments



By Blogger jo-hanna, at August 12, 2006 at 4:34 AM  

Yay(notBaby)MSmall! - Libby

By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 12, 2006 at 6:14 AM  

M. Small got Hell-proofed last weekend

Of course, comments like that will send M. Giant directly TO hell...

By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 12, 2006 at 6:35 AM  

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 12, 2006 at 10:50 PM  

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