Elizabeth was baptized today in the church where Brian and I were married, where Henry and Kathleen were baptized, where Henry's funeral mass was held. It is a place of memories, but I did not cry today, not even a little.
She wore the dress I was baptized in, which was made from my mom's wedding dress (I was so afraid she would grow too big for it before we finally got her baptized). Before the ceremony while she napped, she was snuggled in a white blanket my grandmother knit for her great-grandchildren's baptisms. We got a picture of four generations (I have one from each of my children's baptisms): Elizabeth, me, my mom, and my nana. I'm so glad my nana could come (and she couldn't come empty handed—unbidden she made a blueberry cake and I get to have some leftovers for breakfast).
The sun didn't shine, but the rain held off enough for the kids to play outside. I love watching Kathleen run around with all her cousins. I trusted Kathleen to run around with the eight of them older than her, though it was easy with that many of them to lose track of one.
It was a lovely day, and I'm so glad it is done. I put off thinking about it over the winter. Too many snow storms (this winter especially) to be able to count on my family getting here. Then we had such a hard time finding a date when our families could all make it. I started to get really anxious, feeling like we needed to get it done "before something happened." Yes, that's the scarred part of me talking. I don't believe that had something happened before we baptized her that she would be punished for eternity. It wasn't even a fear that something was going to happen to her, just anxiety that we needed to act before it could. Once we set a date, I relaxed a lot. But I admit I was a bit nutty when we were trying to get that settled.
Now it's done, and Elizabeth is officially part of a community that welcomed her already, a community that has been developing for us over the last four years. A community of people who know us, many of whom knew Henry, some of whom still talk about him. And next Sunday we will take her again to the church where Brian and I were married, where Henry's funeral mass was held, where she and Henry and Kathleen were all baptized.