Yesterday Auntie M and Doc were invited to the christening of a much-wanted baby boy, (Mum is 40 and after four misses, her final chance before adoption). The church was the one she and her mum were baptized in, built in 1842 and still going strong, lovely in its simplicity, with beams and dark columns that supported a three-way round balcony where the slaves originally sat. Someone had the foresight to put on the AC, so it was comfortable, too. A huge vase of white flowers from Gram’s garden graced the simple altar in this Methodist church.
There was a group of women from Manteo who played the bells–they had traveled over an hour to be here for this special baby’s day. These handbell ringers practice once a week and with their soprano bells, sweetly played ancient hymns before the ceremony and in the middle of it, Amazing Grace, a lovely touch. We sang along with “Joyful, Joyful” which is the recognizable bit from Song of Joy and to a hymn I didn’t know, but appreciated, about the planting of seeds and flowers in bloom and innocence.
Little Walker Samuel Breckenridge behaved admirably, wearing a long white dress over his cute white romper with bare feel wiggling when he kicked it up (is there anything sweeter than baby bare feet???) and totally enjoyed his moment in the sun. He listened to the music with rapt attention, esp. the bells, and smiled up at the preacher when he took him to do the actual baptism. When said minister dipped his hand in the water and rubbed it on his head three times he frowned once, then chortled, cracking us in the pews up. He smiled serenely when we repeated prayers for his health and happiness, closing long-lashed lids over startling blue eyes
By the closing hymn he had fallen gracefully asleep in his daddy’s arms. Adjourn to Grams’ house, surrounded by blooming peonies and trees for delicate dips, nuts, spreads, hors d’ and the required mini-ham biscuits. Lovely day, sunshine all around, proud mum and dad, truly grateful for this tiny baby’s presence in their lives, the only grand to both sets of proud grandparents.
It happened to be our own wedding anniversary (17 yrs to those of you counting and we think this one will last) and it was a great way to spend the day: being in that lovely old building, reminded of the innocence of children and the awesome responsibility we carry as their parents/grandparents/elders, thankful this baby had survived and made everyone so thrilled–just one of those days where everything is a positive and the ugliness that is also a part of everyday life recedes and we know we are truly blessed.
What brings out these feelings in you?