Monday, January 12, 2009

On Being a Godmother

I am now a godmother. I take this new title very seriously. My best friend asked me to stand up in church in front of her parents, her in-laws, and an entire congregation and take vows to raise her daughter in the Christian faith. This path is not a pursuit for the faint of heart. My husband and I took these vows ourselves at Confirmands and then later for our own children at their baptisms. Baptism is one of the sacraments (like Communion, marriage, etc.). Sacraments are grounding rods for one's faith. The acts are themselves symbolic, but the covenants they represent are real.

My little goddaughter has such beautiful parents and grandparents. Her mother is my best friend. My best friend's parents are incredibly special people. They brought forth and nurtured this beautiful woman who isn't the slightest bit pretentious, is totally honest, and is a loving and caring person. They took me into their home on a hot summer July 4th weekend which they probably hoped to spend with family and friends, because it was important to their daughter. This mouthy girl from the South descends upon them, terribly homesick with her world upside down, and finds the most wonderful people who actually wanted to know her. My best friend's husband is a stellar guy. Plus he's from my home state, so he gets bonus points. The trust that these awesome people put in my husband and me to watch over their child is very real and we are respectful of it.

Sunday was a beautiful day. It was gray and cold and mysterious outside. The high curch service was beautiful and moving. My goddaugher was perfect. No crying. She actually watched the minister preach for a while. We had such a lovely, comfortable lunch afterwards. It was a joyful time, complete with chicken salad and chocolate cake. I can't help but see that all signs point to a happy life for this little girl.

Bottom line, when my goddaughter calls me and tells me she is running away, I'll tell her to run here to me. I'll comfort her and pat her back and let her get it all out. Then, I'll ask her if she still has her guardian angel on the bookshelf. And does she remember the framed cross-stitched sampler those wonderful ladies from her church congregation made for her? And I'll tell her that same old story about the time I came all the way to Duke chapel to watch her beautiful self be baptized in a white dress. And how the Holy Spirit was in the water and the music and the air and the people who were there that day. And how special she is to those people. Then I'll read her the riot act about how great her parents are, agree with their decision that made her mad in the first place, and send her packing right back to them with a pan of "mamma's brownies" to sweeten the road. That's the covenant a godmother makes.

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