Monday, June 1, 2009

A Chrism Filled Baptism

I have a tendency to play an event out in my mind before it happens, in preparation, I suppose.

These little "pre"- creations tend to consider the worst possible sequence of events and how I might handle them.

I am an incurable optimist.

My biggest fear about Adam's baptism was that he would vomit neon orange carrots all over his priceless baptismal outfit. Seriously, JC Penny? Fifty bucks for something he will wear once??

My second fear was that he would continue his new habit of groaning through the entire thing, which would make the priest consider an exorcism rather than a baptism.

I could not have foreseen the two, rather minor, problems that did arise: sandals and chrism.

After having tan and white food all Sunday morning (I'm learning to match his foods to his clothing), I dressed Adam in a shorts outfit and sandals. During mass, I knelt down to pray as holy a prayer as I could muster while Adam kicked me repeatedly in the butt.

He managed to flip one of his sandals into the air and hit himself in the head with it.

His startled cry was soon replaced with an honest wailing. The thunk on the head must have reminded him that he needed a V8....totally out of the question because it didn't match his clothing.

After a quick trip to the gathering space where he downed an entire 8 ounces of formula, I wrestled him into his little suit. I would like to personally thank the genius who thought placing buttons on the BACK of the long sleeved shirt was a good idea. It was like wrestling a spider monkey on speed into a straight jacket.

He sure was cute though.

The service went fine with Father Kevin motoring through the required readings so fast that most of our guests couldn't understand him. The stole was placed, the candle lit, the water poured, and the chrism applied in record time.

The chrism. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia chrism is olive oil mixed with balsam which gives it a "sweet fragrance."

It flat out stinks. It's a sharp, sinus piercing, sit up and take notice kind of stink. And Father Kevin smeared Adam's head with a huge handful of the stuff. It was practically dripping off of his teeny tiny little bangs.

My previously placid son, in trying to located the source of the stink, began nodding his head vigorously. Against my face. Now I had chrism all over my nose, upper lip, and chin.

It's like taking the worst smelling substance possible and cramming it in your own nostrils.

Trying to be cool about it, since Father Kevin was racing through the last few prayers, I wiped my nose and lip carefully. Apparently chrism has the magical powers of melting lipstick, because I had a nice rose colored streak on the back of my hand.

I would like to say I prayed for my son and a grace filled life.

Instead I panicked that lipstick might be either smeared across my cheek or dripping down my chin.

It's my optimist streak at work again.

According to the "after" pictures, it seems that my panicking was for naught.

Ismael was fairly silent through this whole process. These are not his traditions, not his ways, yet he knew it was important to me. He was present, attentive, and supportive, if not a little uncomfortable. Ahh..the things we do for those we love.

Except tolerate chrism.
As we left the church, he held Adam high in the air and declared, "Boy! You need a bath! You STINK!" To which the boy nodded vigorously in assent.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for letting me share this special day with you and your family.