I decided a couple of years ago to stop having family parties at our house. It turns out that 50 people in a small house is not a great idea. We decided to have Colin’s baptism luncheon at a restaurant, his godmother was kind enough to bring the cake, so I had to do…nothing. The morning was still stressful.
By the time we got to church, I was already a little “overstimulated.” Thankfully, the baptismal font is at the back of the church so we were able to sit in our usual seats that allow for a quick exit in the event of a tantrum or for the multiple bathroom trips that occur when you have a newly potty-trained child. What’s up with kids having to check out the facilities in every public place?
Before mass started, Father told us that we would need three people to bring up the gifts for the offertory. I nominated the godparents and Mark. I really don’t like walking down church aisles when everyone is watching you, I’m always afraid I’ll trip and fall. We got married in an old Catholic church that was built in the 1890s. I still get anxiety when I think about that aisle. I considered the scenario where I trip and fall in the middle of church and then I considered Mark leaving me alone with three kids in church. I then nominated myself for the offertory.
The beginning of mass was fair. At some point I realized that Sully had inhaled almost a whole snack cup full of jelly beans and the service wasn’t even half over. I took the jelly beans away for a later emergency. He threw a mild tantrum, but I was able to calm him quickly. He started rubbing my dress sleeve between his thumb and forefinger and then quickly moved to dragging his hand across my chest.
“Sully,” I whispered, “just grab my sleeve.”
“No! I want to touch your boob.”
“Shhhh. Just touch my sleeve.”
Father was approaching us to begin the baptism.
“No! I want to touch your boob.”
I couldn’t stop giggling. It was bad, it was the kind of laughing where you are trying to be quiet and the harder you try to stop, the more you laugh, and then you can’t breathe. It was bad. Mark was glaring at me and that made me laugh more. Father was so close to us that I was afraid that my laughter was getting picked up by the microphone.
I somehow managed to find the snack cup of jelly beans and shoved it into Sully’s hands. It quieted him down and I got myself under control. Mark was still glaring at me.
The baptism was wonderful. Colin stared right into Father’s eyes like he understood every single word that he said and he didn’t cry at all when the water was poured over his head.
It was soon time for the offertory and I took my place at the back of church. They handed me the glass vessel of wine, the worst possible gift to carry up. I, once again, considered falling down and the glass breaking everywhere and then I considered being left in the pew with three kids. I opted for carrying the wine. I made it to the front of church without so much as a trip.
The rest of mass was uneventful. By the time it was over, I was ready to get to lunch and eat. All I had eaten all day was a banana. I wanted to expedite pictures so we could get on our way.
A sweet lady from church wanted to take a picture of Colin for the church bulletin. I proudly held him up and instead of hitting the capture button, she hit the power button. The camera turned off. She looked confused and decided to try again. We posed and she hit the power button again. I tried to tell her she was hitting the wrong button, but I don’t think she heard me. My hunger almost had me ripping the camera out of her hand, but I managed to control myself. After about five tries, she got a picture she was happy with.
We moved on to take pictures for ourselves with the godparents. As we were walking to the back of the church to leave, I saw the lady from church with her camera out. I could tell she was looking for me. I took a deep breath and prepared myself for another ten minute photo shoot. She got distracted by somebody and I saw my opportunity. I basically ran to the back of church to a private room to change the baby out of his baptismal gear. By the time I exited the room, she was gone. I didn’t think anyone noticed, but my brother later told me he saw my not-so-smooth escape.
We had a beautiful luncheon with our immediate family. We had our rehearsal dinner for our wedding at the same restaurant almost seven years ago. If someone would have told me then what life would be like today, I would have never believed it would be so full.