Happy Baptism Day, George David

The blessed Enfamil water
Out of the four children, I can only remember the exact day of one of their baptisms. I know Joseph's was in June and he was three months old. Camille's was on Divine Mercy Sunday in 2006 and she was also three months old. Cole's was in May, when he was six weeks old. They all happened around the liturgical year (no baptisms in Lent for the first two!) and when family could be in town. Ideal? No. But that's how it happened.

For those, family was there. Friends came. At Cole's, we had a total of ten children ages six and under hanging around the font, watching the ceremony. The church was empty and silent but for the words of the preist, the laughter of the children and the click of cameras. Cole wore the same gown the others did and smelled of chrism- an odd smell of baby powder and spices but lovely nevertheless. It, like that of Joseph's and Camille's, was joyous. Welcome to the faith!

 But Georgie's is forever etched in my memory- he was two days old and in the NICU. He was baptised with sterile water ment to mix up formula and his candle was battery powered. He wore nothing but a diaper, monitors, IVs and "space helmet" for oxygen. We were gowned in sterile gowns and made the Sign of the Cross with gloved hands. It was baptism in one of its most basic forms and lacked any frills. The preist was there, as well as my in-laws and, of course, my husband and myself. A nurse stood quietly by, gently moving his oxygen out of the way so the water could be poured. Georgie flinched but was too sick to care. In the hall, staff bustled by and monitors beeped. There was no cake, no white gown, no chirsm. That came later. Right then, he needed the grace, the erase of sin from his soul. He needed the basics.

It was one small thing we could do for him. We couldn't touch him, hold him or talk to him. I could pump but not feed him. At a time when my son's earthly life was dependent on medicines and machines, the only thing we could take care of was his eternal life.

Happy baptism day George David. May be be forever surrounded by the Light of Christ.