Saturday, February 18, 2012

Greta’s Baptism

Greta was baptized today. This is the first time I’ve mentioned Greta’s baptism, I think, which may surprise you regular readers, who were with me when Andrew and I embarked on the process of getting Lucia baptized in California—a process that involved having to first get married in the church. This time around, it was easy. I started going to a parish in Park Slope when I got pregnant so I could become an official parishioner, and because of my forethought (applause, please), it was easy to schedule the baptism. But then Dad was able to get the priest from Geibel to agree to do it at his parish here, which was fantastic. I just had to get a letter from my Brooklyn parish giving me permission to have Greta baptized elsewhere, and we were in.

So this morning we all set out for the church, Lucia in a new pretty dress (“I look so pretty!” she kept saying into the mirror) and Greta looking angelic in her white dress, sweater, and tights. She wore the same white dress Lucia did for her baptism (fitting perfectly at three months, while Lucia wore it at six). Uncle Don and Aunt Joanie came too. It makes such a difference to have a ceremony like this in a place where people know you; it just feels more personal and meaningful. Fr. Bob did a wonderful job, and we were all very happy with the whole event.

The girls both did splendidly. Greta cried only once, when Fr. Bob made a cross on her forehead, and then only for a second; she didn’t cry at all at the oil or the water. Lucia was calm and quiet, for the most part, but somehow her new stuffed pig wound up sitting on the altar—in the priest’s usual seat—throughout the ceremony. Greta fell asleep the instant we got back in the car.

Afterwards, we went out to breakfast, where Lucia finally got the pancakes we’d been promising her all morning. “I go to church again?” she requested in the car.

There’s something so pleasing about public rituals, even if there remain so many institutional things that give one many, many moments of pause. It is nice to hear familiar words, have another daughter wear a white dress, welcome her into something larger. “Greta was baptized!” Lucia announced in the car. A nice way to spend one of our final Connellsville days.

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