Monday, January 14, 2019

The Baptism of Our Lord--and Our Youngest Grandchild

They both happened on the same day--yesterday--and what a glorious occasion it was!   Can you think of a more perfect day to have a child receive the sacrament than on the day we celebrate Jesus' Baptism?  The pleasingly plump little fella who now shares a baptismal anniversary with Our Lord is the third-born son of our second-born son and his wife Ginger.
With his Papa, my hubby, for whom he was named.

When we sent pictures from the ceremony to my husband's siblings (care of the oft-used family text stream), one of his brothers commented, "What a great day to be baptized," and then joked, "Was the priest's name John?"  It wasn't--but wouldn't that have been something if it was?

The little guy (whose blog handle shall be "Topper," I've decided) was born in late October and was initially going to be baptized quite a while ago; but he ended up going through a number of health crises, including RSV (for which he had to be hospitalized for over a week, and which led to some other upper respiratory infections), so it had to be postponed.  As it ended up being rescheduled to take place on the most perfect Sunday of the year for a Baptism, all was well that ended well.  (And he is definitely doing much better health-wise, although he's still battling a stubborn cough.)
This is what a newly-baptized Christian feels like: oh, the joy!

There was a big (by VA standards) snowstorm that started on Saturday night and continued all day Sunday, so not many family members were able to make it to the Baptism--including our oldest son and his wife, who were named Topper's godparents.  But Papa and Grammy stood in for them, and we were so grateful for the opportunity to see our littlest grandchild receive this all-important first Sacrament of Initiation, whereby he became officially united with Christ and the Church.

Topper wore the same christening gown and bonnet that his two older brothers, Junior (3) and Jedi (18 months) wore.

I made these garments out of some linen-and-lace pillow shams that my late mother-in-law had collected--very likely with the idea of making christening gowns for her great-grandchildren one day, so I feel like she and I created them together.  Mom had a lot of these shams, so I was able to make gowns for the families of all four of my married boys.  When our oldest son's wife was expecting our first grandchildren, twin girls (now 7), I actually made two each of two styles of gown and had her pick which ones she wanted for her babies.  That left two extras that I saved for future grandchildren, and I eventually made several more.  One went to son #3 and another to son #2.  When son #4's wife was expecting triplets, I knew she had a family heirloom christening gown for her daughter to use, but I was able to give her two more gowns for the boys (also identical twins!) to wear for their Baptism.  (Our four oldest boys were baptized in heirloom gowns from my husband's family; the only one of my boys for whom I made a gown was son #5, and I plan to pass that on to him when his first child is born.)

I've actually blogged about making all these christening gowns before, here, here, and here, if you'd like to visit those old posts.  (I guess you'd have to be a dyed-in-the-wool sewing enthusiast, or just really, REALLY interested in the making of christening dresses to do you won't offend me at all if you're thinking, "I'm much too busy to be poking around her dusty archives!")

Enough about sewing; back to the subject du jour: here is a picture of Topper with his family, after his initiation into the Catholic Church.

As parents of grown children, my husband and I couldn't be more thrilled and grateful that our boys are fully and joyfully practicing their Catholic Faith, that they are welcoming children into the world with open hearts and passing on the Faith to them as well--and of course, that would not be possible if they hadn't picked the kind of women they have as their spouses.  All four of our married sons chose the most loving and lovable Catholic girls--beautiful inside and out--as partners for their journeys through life.
These are my girls.  I [heart] them.  I'm the luckiest M-I-L on earth.

Three of our married boys--sons #1, #3, and #4--met their wives on (I've blogged about that before, too, but I'll spare you more links for now!).  Topper's parents didn't meet on the website; but they met because his daddy was a groomsman in his uncle's (son #3's) wedding and his mommy was a bridesmaid in that same wedding.  (Two of our daughters-in-law, Preciosa and Ginger, were dear friends in college who never expected that one day they'd marry brothers and have children who were cousins!)  So we joke that 3.5 of the matches in our family came from what son #3 once jokingly called "the family website."

Anyway, that's about it from down here in snowy VA.  I'm just feeling all cozy and warm inside my house, blessed beyond measure, luckier than I deserve.  I don't know how I got so lucky.  But I know that "to whom much is given, much is expected"--so methinks I better get to work and give back as much as possible, while I still have breath in me.

God bless my boys.  God bless my girls.  And most of all, God bless adorable Topper, the newest little Christian in my world.


  1. Congratulations to your whole string. Baptisms are my favorite, I always get teary.

    1. Thanks, Madeline--yes, Baptisms are so wonderful, aren't they?

  2. Aw, what a little cutie he is! I'm glad he's doing much better. His christening gown is beautiful. "The family website", that's funny!

    Your last two paragraphs made me misty-eyed. You totally deserve it, Laura! God has joyfully blessed you, sister in Christ. Much love to you.

    1. You are the nicest person. Your second paragraph made ME misty-eyed!