Monday, July 16, 2007

Maddie Mondays: Godparents

Maddie had a big day yesterday. We baptized our sweet angel into God's church. Our little girl did such a great job. Didn't cry once, not even when the Deacon poured the holy water on her head. She just laid in my arms almost the entire time with a peaceful look on her face, as if she knew what was going on. I've known since she was born (before she was born, actually) that God was already with her and would protect her but to go through the actual ceremony is so special. I'm not sure whether it's the words that are spoken or the feeling of everyone that loves her around or knowing what it meant to her Godparents to become such a special part of her life that does it but it is definitely one of the best things I've gone through as parent.
The meaning of a Godparent and what he or she represents is different for everyone. I've heard people say that to them a Godparent is someone who their child will be able to come and talk to when they get older. I've also heard people say that they believe it's synonomous with being the child's legal guardian, the person that will take care of the child if the parents should die unexpectedly. For me it's a combination of things but the foundation of it has always been religious. I believe in the Church's definition for the most part. I believe that a Godparent is chosen to help guide a child to live a life of faith and to teach them to follow the Lord. However, the Church believes this person should be a practicing Catholic but I think that it's more about the kind of person that you are and what you're willing to share with your Godchild than about how often you go to church. It's about living your life so that this child will have someone outside of her parents to look to. It's about being there to love her the way her parents love her.
Madelyn has four Godparents - a little untraditional but it felt right. All four, each with their own special contribution to Maddie's life, is a blessing to our family.
Edgar, my brother, has so much love to give and our little Maddie has a special place all her own in his big heart. I know he was surprised when we asked him to be Maddie's Godfather but he shouldn't have been. As different as we may be in a lot of things, at the end of the day we share the same values and I know that he's going to do his best to help instill those in Maddie. He's such a great father to his two kids that we know how lucky we are that he's so willing to share a part of himself with our baby.
Gordon, Anthony's dad, is one of those people you hear about. He met Anthony's mom over 20 years ago and helped raised four kids that weren't biologically his. He gave Anthony a father he otherwise wouldn't have had and made him into so much of the person he is now. If there's one thing we can rest soundly knowing it's that if Maddie ever needs anything her Grandpa Gordon will be there. He's just one of those people.
Dana, my best friend of 11 years, has been such a constant in my life. She's utterly reliable and can be trusted with my most precious possession, my baby girl. I had known for years that I wanted Dana to be the Godmother of one of my kids because something her and I have always shared is our faith and the way that we follow that faith. We believe in the same things and worship the same way. I know that if my little Maddie ever finds herself without direction that Dana will help her find her way. That gives me peace beyond words - to know that even when I'm not around, my daughter will always have someone to turn to when she feels she's lost her way.
And Kristie, my best friend of almost 10 years. The way Kristie loves my girls makes my heart ache. Whether she's asking about them everytime we talk or she's at our house for her weekly "dates" with them, it's always about them when she's around. She truely and genuinely wants to be a part of their lives and makes such an effort to ensure that happens. For her, being Maddie's Godmother just "sealed the deal" and made her a permanent part of her life. She loves her as much as you can love a child that isn't yours and it fills my heart to know she's in her life.
So no, not all four of Madelyn's Godparents faithfully attend church every Sunday or would necessarily even classify as practicing Catholics. But there is no doubt in my mind that each of them will fulfill their new role in Maddie's life like no other. To have had two people we could could ask to be Maddie's Godparents would have been a blessing, to have these four people be her Godparents is a gift.

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