November 16, 2007

Two Godmothers Are Better Than One ...

Baptism is a right of passage that most Catholics bestow upon their children. According to the church, it cleanses newborns from Adam and Eve's original sin and asserts their belief in Christianity that, if memory serves me right, involves Jesus, a cross and a 1973 Oscar-nominated rock opera.

Man, I do love a good rock opera.

Now I'm not a big traditionalist, but I don't think my daughter should be punished for some dude and some chick eating an apple—which, if you think about it, must be the lamest sin in history. I can only imagine how that scene must have gone down:

Adam: "Hey Eve, wanna smoke this crack?"
Eve: "Hell no! I've got something much better than that."
Adam: "What is it?"
Eve: "An apple."
Adam: "SCORE!"

Aside from the fact that this poor excuse for a sin is the most touted and recognizable sin of all of time, it's still a church-approved offense that must be washed away. So after a few phone calls (and several weekly donations), we had a time and a place for Ella to join the church. Throw in a few more calls and we had a reception hall and caterer. Everything was falling into place. Only one detail left to be resolved: The Godparents.

Being named Godparent houses a lot of responsibility. You must guide the child spiritually. You must support them when they need support. You must buy them an extra gift every Christmas, and it must be something good. Not a sweater. Kids hate sweaters.

Brittany asked me my opinion, so I told her I would send out a call to all my Life of Dad readers requesting a resume, a list of references and a two-paragraph essay on why they deserve to be Ella's Godparent. After the submissions rolled in, I'd narrow the list down to 20 worthy candidates and send them a Godparent quiz. The quiz would include revealing questions like "If Ella came to you with a boy problem, what would you say to her?" and "What is the capital of Montana" (The correct answers here are "You punch that boy in the crotch and lock yourself in your parents' house until you're 32" and "Helena.") From there, we narrow it down to the top six contenders and hold live interviews. After a few weeks of careful deliberation, we could choose the two people who display the best qualities for this position.

"Or," said Brittany, "We could just make our sisters Godparents."

"Let's hope they know their state capitals."

Traditionally, you have two godparents—a godmother (female) and a godfather (male, Italian decent a plus). But again, I've never been much of a traditionalist. And in Church 2.0 the godparents don't have to be different genders. Plus, Brittany's argument for using her sister Allison and my sister Jennifer were strong: Both will love our child more than most anyone, both have a strong sense of right and wrong, and both are extremely aware of the "no sweaters as gifts" rule. While it wasn't exactly the selection process an HR department would approve, it was one I could comfortably and happily accept.

So this past Sunday, family and a few friends watched as Ella got dunked in that giant bowl and shed herself of original sin. They watched as Ali and Jennie confirmed that they'd help raise our daughter in the name of faith, love, humility and hope. They watched as my wife shed a tear and I mouthed to my buddy Will, "What time does the Bengals' game start?"

All in all, it was a pretty amazing event.


Tom said...

First, I am angry for the first time after having read "The Life of Dad," for now I have the theme song for the Golden Girls stuck in my head with no hope of getting it out.

I need to ask, where did you get Bill Cosby's sweater?

The picture is fantastic, the girls look great in it, but the lack of dad makes it better :P

Mommy Bits said...

That is wonderful Brian. Congratulations. We still need to have the boys baptised. It kills me that we have not done it yet.

just4ofus said...

Congrats! Happy Baptism!
We did it for our first born, our second born.. we'll she will suffer I guess.
: )

Wise One said...

I was wondering why you asked that. Doesn't Stephen send you text messages like my big screen?

Nice hat by the way, very festive.

samokdaddy said...

Good deal...we're lutherans, so it's about the same deal with baptism...we, just have coffee and jello afterwards.

Luckily, the Vikings have sucked so bad that when my kids were baptized, the football season was dead and gone for us.

I'm going to keep reading. Come on over to my place and check out how we do daddying in Minneapolis!!!