Yesterday we baptized my son Christos in the church where his godmother and I both were baptized and where the man he is named after grew up as an altar boy. We were lucky to do so in front of his loving extended family and friends.
Once the baptism began, I realized he was in my presence but I wasn’t in control of him for the first real time as a parent. I felt as though he was outside of my bubble, a place where his beautiful mother or I wasn’t 100% able to intercede and soothe him.
Those moments were his first chance to be himself and handle things. For better or worse, and in rapid succession, he would be:
- held by a stranger
- completely naked
- anointed (rubbed down with oil all over his body)
- dunked three times into holy water
- have oil tapped on him again in honor of the father the son and the holy spirit
- have a few pieces of his hair cut off
- then handed off to be cleaned up.
It could understandably result in a very angry child, whose participation would need to supersede coerced and morph into forced, or… it could go better than that. This video is the baptism process happening.
Needless to say I was proud of how my little man, who came into the day unknowing, handled himself and stood tall in the water.
The last time I stood in that spot, it was to say goodbye to a Christos who had stood right there as I was baptized. A man whose pride in me is still a source of motivation to this day. His words of love and expectation, of stewardship and determination, and of irreverent strength and humanity, now have a renewed purpose for me.
My Christos, your Dad is proud of the way you participated yesterday, the way you stood tall in the water, and the way you handled the first moments where it was up to you to do things your way. You are on your way and together we will find the path of your youth, I promise to guide you with all I have and look forward to the day you can show me the way somewhere new.
You are a source of an intense pride that I have never known before, thank you.
– Love Dad
P.S. In particular his grandparents have been such an enthusiastic part of his early days, and immeasurable help to his mom and I, that I must say thank you right here for all you have already done. With you as role models we have a lifetime of catching up to do.