Sunday, March 3, 2013

The Baptism That Almost Wasn't

Alas, another belated post. That's because - once again - I was sick. Apparently that's what I do now. Like some twisted inadvertent new year's resolution, my body has decided to catch everything going around in 2013. I literally had to add a line item to my budget for "Cough Drops, Good Drugs, and Dr.'s Office Parking." My NC immune system is failing me in some sort of Mid-Atlantic Survival of Fittest game. 

I tried to make the most of my sick time. After all, it's a valid excuse for wearing sweatpants, not showering and laying on the couch. Once my fever broke, I spent all of last weekend watching episodes of Revenge - 20 hours worth to be exact. I'm not even kidding. I always thought I'd hate that show so I never watched it.  I was sort of right - I hate how much I now care about it. 

I also learned new things while I was sick. For example, did you know there are directions for cough drops? I did not. Apparently you are only supposed to have one every two hours. You aren't supposed to pop them like Tic Tacs every time you begin to cough or your throat starts to feel a little scratchy. Oops. I OD'd several times over on those menthol-filled cold candies. 

Now that I've recovered from my menthol stupor, I want to tell you about my whirlwind trip back to NC a couple weekends ago. I headed back to the homeland for my nephew's baptism. I drove down on Friday and drove back on Monday, leaving 48 hours in between to visit with family and - of course - eat almond butter fro yo at Yoforia. 

My favorite Charlie pics.
As you may recall, Charlie's baptism was supposed to take place over Christmas but a week-long hospital stay derailed that plan. Now Charlie is doing well and we were ready to head down to Charlotte so he could be baptized at my family's church which is also where Melissa and Pete were married. 

I took a half day on Friday so I could make the drive and have a full day Saturday in the Queen City. Melissa, Pete, Charlie and Belby weren't going to drive down until Saturday morning so I was solo - just me, podcasts, Pandora and my sweet car dance moves which did include Beyonce's "Single Ladies" and a powerful karaoke rendition of "Fancy" by Reba McEntire.

Saturday morning I texted to check in on the baptismal caravan only to hear that they hadn't left yet. Charlie...was...sick. Given his history, his doctor didn't want him travelling until she saw him to give the a-ok. Seriously, Squeaks? Are we going to have to reschedule again? 

Fortunately, the doctor gave approval and said a weekend at Grammy's would do him well. Phew, baptism back on!

So, Charlie et al were on the road and I was off for a jam-packed day of coffee and delicious lunch (Halcyon - one of my favorites!) with friends. That's also when I made the solo trip to Yoforia. Priorities, y'all. 

Later that afternoon, I was curled up by the fire at my parents' house, watching whatever was on their DVR when my sister texted me, "An hour away. Big snowstorm." Huh? 

I thought she was referring to an inside joke we have in our family that involves a game of Balderdash and the phrase, "There was a big snowstorm." I don't even have time to try to explain that one. Just know that that's what I thought she meant because why else would she say " big snowstorm"? It doesn't snow in Charlotte, especially not in any big way. 

As I was questioning the poor comedic timing of my usually hilarious sister, I noticed it had gotten really dark outside. 


Beginning of the thundersnow.
I'd heard of the "thundersnow" phenomenon before but certainly not in Charlotte. Yet, there it was. Bangs of thunder and blizzard-like snow. It only last about 15 minutes, but that was enough to coat the ground with an inch or two. (An inch or two in Charlotte is the equivalent of four to five inches anywhere else.) It was beautiful, especially after Melissa, Pete, Charlie and Belby arrived safely. 

That is to say, it was beautiful until we turned on the TV Sunday morning to see a scroll of church and facility closings. 

You've got to be kidding me. We're so close to baptizing this baby. SO CLOSE. What in the world is going on? After all that, is church going to be cancelled?

We started to suspect that Charlie didn't want to be baptized and was putting that sentiment out into the world - a hospital stay, thundersnow - I mean, come on. 

Maybe Charlie is Jewish? Or, maybe he didn't feel spiritually ready for this covenant? I find it had to believe that sweet baby Charlie - who literally just learned he had toes - would take a philosophical stand against baptisms. 

As we waited to see if our church was cancelled, my Dad decided that our contingency plan would be to drive to the minister's house. We would not be rescheduling again. One way or another, that baby was going to be baptized and welcomed into the Christian family, even if it was done with all of us standing around a kitchen sink in snowsuits singing "Jesus Loves Me." 

Fortunately - for everyone involved - it didn't come to that. 

Church in the snow (which as you can tell had already mostly melted)
Church was on, the baptismal gown was ready, and we were on our way. We were joined by Pete's parents, my Aunt Kathy and several family friends who all "braved the elements" (in reality, the roads were perfectly fine) to be a part of this special day. 

Charlie looked adorable in his gown - one that had been worn by both Pete and Pete's mom for their baptisms - and was sweet and peacefully asleep...until the water was put on his head. At that point, he was still adorable and sweet but cried out sad little whimpers as he was carried down the aisle, whimpers that were acoustically enhanced by the minister's microphone and the high vaulted ceilings of our church. 

Despite his tears, it was a beautiful morning. Given the state he was in when he was originally supposed to be baptized, we now welcomed those cries. We were surrounded by friends and family in a gorgeous sanctuary that has meant a great deal to my family over the years. My sister and I were both baptized in that Sanctuary. We celebrated the lives of grandparents there. Melissa and Pete were married there. I butchered a hell of a lot of songs in youth choir there. (You can say hell in church, you guys.) 

And now, that Sanctuary is special for Charlie too.    
I took an illegal pic on my cell phone during church. God, forgive me.  
We followed the baptism with a fun afternoon of family, friends and mimosas. Mom made homemade chili and I stole Charlie away every time someone else tried to hold him. It was the perfect weekend. 

Baptism Scrapbook:

Grammy, Grandpa, and Char Char

Pre-baptism. Pete with the sketchy eyes. 

"Um, you guys. Do you realize I'm in a dress? Are we going to talk about this?"

Three generations

Books with Grammy

Besties Squeaks and Auntie with Grammy and Aunt Kathy.

My first child, Gracie. 

Charlie has to do breathing treatments twice a day and you have to distract him so he doesn't fuss.
This was the perfect opportunity for my dad to introduce Char  Char to the harmonica and banjo.
Grandpa was pleased to have a captive audience.

No comments:

Post a Comment