December 18, 2012, exactly 9 months after her birth G was baptized. It was a very small affair. Only our immediate family, Anthony her Godfather, and our cousin with her family were there. 12 people in all. It was perfect, small and private.
We flew to Florida so G could be baptized by Father Oscar Alonso. He has been a friend of the family's since I was in elementary school. He is a priest who takes his position as a man of God very seriously and prays daily to have a pure heart and mind above all else. His devotion to God and to the community is admirable. I couldn't imagine anyone else baptizing either one of my girls. I love this man. He has been a foundation and a moral compass for me on several occasions. I'm not very religious but I do find solace in the traditions of the church. My culture and family background are closely tied to religious traditions during Easter, Christmas, throughout the year and in the steps we take to becoming men and women. So even though I may not agree with the church on everything I don't turn my back on it because my religion is intertwined with my culture and the essence of where I come from.
However, I've been disappointed with the Catholic Church since P attended St. Mel preschool. I feel there is an arrogance to the way they handle kids. It's left me very frustrated. What I've experienced with the Archdiocese here in Los Angles in not what I grew up with in Florida. This is a general statement but I feel that the Archdiocese in Florida hold it's position as educators more sacred. You see their sense of responsibility for molding the minds of young people and honor and respect for the parents. Anyway, Father Oscar is well aware of my feelings and his advice was so kind. He didn't take a stand for or against the church. It was more of an understanding of how I felt and a respect for my choices. It was humbling. I am grateful for people like Father Oscar who help me feel faith again in my religion.
Both girls have the same Godfather. My dear friend Anthony. We've known each other since high school. I think it's the longest friendship I have sustained. We have been many things for one another throughout the years so it is only fitting that he now be my daughters' Godfather. Anthony is the kind of person who can fit anywhere and make everyone around him feel comfortable and happy. He could dine with kings or paupers and be engaging and joyful to both. I am grateful for his presence in the lives of both girls. He is the perfect mix of Dave and me. We have many of the same beliefs. He knows where I come from and has always accepted me as I am. What else can I want for in the person who could essentially replace me?
The day of the baptism was beautiful. The event was great, except for G crying her head off through a good part of the event and then falling asleep right after! I now understand why kids should be baptized as babies. When they're older it's harder to hold them through the entire ritual if they're wiggly!
I'm very happy G is now part of the family of God. And I'm so glad the baptismal gown fit her! I was first baptized in the gown, then my brother, then P and now G. Even though the primary gown was for 3-6 month olds it still fit her at 9! Phew!