Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Rebirth and renewal

The past ten days have been dedicated to The Girl’s baptism. Not kidding. It was like organizing a wedding, and the aftermath was like recuperating from the apocalypse, albeit a fun and relaxed one. We are just now barely crawling out of the coma-like state we’ve been in since Saturday, today I am once again finally able to string together complete sentences, which miraculously relate to each other and make a semblance of sense. I’m also doing the rounds of all the suppliers and paying for services rendered. Oy.
Anyway, Saturday was a superbly fantastic day (I’m into hyperboles today). We were surrounded by a crowd of wonderful friends and family, which honestly we did not expect. That’s weird, you may say, how could you not expect it, considering everyone was invited (in writing no less...), but honestly we thought that most people would be busy (last weekend before school started), or not in the mood for a baptism (it’s not like we were inviting people to a wet t-shirt contest), or with sick or otherwise engaged children. Instead the turnout was fantastic! We were missing very few people (and yes, we missed you!). Also, the weather was unbelievable, really, the perfect late summer / early autumn day, sunny, blue cloudless skies, warm and crisp (as opposed to hot and humid, or wet and cold, all viable options this time of year). So basically we totally lucked out!
The Husband was in great health and spirits, thankfully, since I suspect a good number of people came to see him (that’s ok, The Girl doesn’t mind, she knows she was still the cutest one there, anyway!). The past few weeks his general tone has greatly improved he seems to be almost back to normal, for which we are all grateful.
So on this auspicious day our baby girl made her entrance into the catholic church… I’ve always had mixed feelings about this, my parents made the conscious choice not to baptize us, though both of them grew up catholic. My brother decided as an adult to take the sacraments and is, in fact, The Boy’s godfather (or I should actually say “Godfather”, in a Sicilian-American accent). But I’ve never felt the need to become a part of organized religion. I’m not going to start a long discussion on a blog, because I don’t want to raise anyone’s hackles and I don’t want to get into a long, drawn out and completely useless debate. I do, however, want to emphasize the fact that, though I may feel ambiguous towards the church, and I don’t feel the need to become a part of it myself, I am happy that we baptized The Girl, and I feel a huge responsibility to teach her a healthy respect for religion, and for her church as well as for others and to help her nurture her spiritual self in the best way possible for her.
This last little paragraph may sound a little strange to our Italian readers, because here (fortunately or unfortunately, who can say?) religion generally equates Catholic church, so there is a certain sense of inevitability to religious experience that tends to take choice out of the equation as well as the idea of spiritual growth.
Anywho,  moving right along, the day was doubly special for us, as a family, because The Husband and I renewed our marriage vows. Huh? What? Why? The thing is that about a month or two ago I accidently lost my wedding band. Or better, we know exactly where it is but to get it we would have to literally take apart our house and incur expenses in the tens of thousands of euros so it’s as good as lost in the real sense of the word. Basically, I was playing with it and the ring slipped off my finger, and fell to the ground (and as I write this I hear my mother’s voice about a hundred and fifty thousand times: “stop playing with your rings, that’s how you lose them!” and me, eye roll, “mom quit nagging, I’m not going to lose them” – so basically she jinxed it). Now, I heard it fall, and thought, I’ll get it in just a minute (I was holding The Girl and she was playing with something) and then poof, it disappeared. We looked for it for days, gone. And then we figured it fell in the cavity wall of the house where all the plumbing, electric tubes and the such run. Ha, we went looking there too, amidst a slew of insects I’m not even going to describe except to say that if any of those spiders decided to come out and cavort in the light of day I may just have a simultaneous heart attack, stroke, hissy fit and die.
So for all intents and purposes my wedding band was gone. Thus we decided to have another one made using The Husband’s band, melting it, adding some gold and in this manner getting two new bands that both had some of one original band in them (sounds complicated, but it made us feel better, thanks Bears for the idea). So long story short, Father F (priest who married us, and friend) was coming to baptize The Girl so we figured we would ask him to bless the new bands and that would be that. Enter Mother. My Mom is a very superstitious lady. And when I say very superstitious I mean that if she has to get from point A to point B and between points A and B there is a staircase or ladder under which she must go to reach her destination, she will either not go to point B at all or take even the most ridiculously long and circuitous route she needs to take to avoid the staircase or ladder. I’m not kidding. If my Mother asks you to pass the salt, you better damn well put the salt shaker down near her cause you will be holding the salt up in the air till kingdom come before she takes it out of your hand. I could compile a dictionary of superstitions with all of the things she’s taught me. All this to say that my Mom announced that we absolutely could not simply bless the rings we had to renew our vows for it to count, otherwise the bands would be “bad luck” (insert eerie music). Of course The Husband’s mom jumped on the bandwagon and wanted us to do it in front of all the conveniently assembled guests in church. Ha, ha, ha.
Anyway. The Husband and I renewed our vows in private, we’ve been married seven years, and this being a notoriously ominous year for marriage, we’re turning a new leaf and starting afresh. Hopefully the next seven will be happy, healthy and filled with love.