Here you'll find current musings, as well as the archives from two blogs of yesteryear: YoungMarriedMom and What I Learned While Writing a Novel. Please comment and share. We love well when we are in conversation with one another. 

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ethan

Dear Henry,

 

This last weekend we took you to New Jersey to be baptized. You were baptized in your grandparents’ living room by the priest from the church where your dad and I met, got married, and had Jacob baptized. It was a wonderful ceremony, welcoming you into the Church. I was worried you would be loud and perhaps messy, but the twenty minutes or so it took to give you the Sacrament seemed to me to be some of your most peaceful yet. At the end, you smiled through the final blessings. I hope you take that joy in being Catholic wherever you go. I hope when it’s time for you to chose this Faith for yourself, you do it with your whole heart. It is the greatest gift your father and I could give you, and despite all the running around we did preparing for and hosting the party that immediately followed, we found a couple of moments here and there to stand still and realize what a beautiful thing happened that day. It was a special day for us and for you!

 

This weekend was also your first time meeting one set of grandparents and a bunch of extended family members. Needless to say, everyone loves you. They were all happily surprised at how big you are. There was a lot of conversation about the color of your eyes (still a mystery—I think they’re brown inside and blue at the rims of the irises) and about the fact that you don’t really look like anyone in the family right now, not even Jacob. We talked about your grunting, about what I’ve started to think of as your “spunk,” about the fact that you are already very much your own person.

 

For a couple of hours, you were passed around from one family member to the next, peacefully sleeping the whole time. You love being held. We all love holding you (even if our arms do get tired). Even after your bath Sunday night, you still smell like chrism, or, as your godmother says, “like salvation.” You’re lucky—Aunt Helen is faithful and funny.

 

I love that you were baptized during the Church’s Year of Faith. This year is a special time for Catholics to learn more about their faith; deepen their prayer lives; and share their love, centered on Christ, with others. I hope those initiatives find their way into your life by your father and my example, even after this particular year is over.

 

Sometimes I wonder whether you and Jacob will remain faithful to the Church later in your lives. I wonder if you will choose something else, and think that your dad and my sharing our faith with you was a waste of time. Then I remember that for us, faith is not a matter of opinion or emotion; it’s a call we’ve chosen to respond to. It’s what we owe our marriage, our family, our lives to. With that perspective, I don’t think we have a choice when it comes to passing that on to you. It’s our way of life, and as your parents, our job is to teach you how to navigate this world, how to navigate yourself. I guarantee it won’t be easy. But that’s not the goal. The goal is that you “run with endurance the race that is set before [you]” (Heb 12:1). We believe the Catholic faith is the best way to do that.

 

I’ll stop preaching to you now, little boy. Know that we really believe in this Faith we’re teaching you. We choose it every day, out of love. We hope you will learn to do the same.

 

We love you, our new little Catholic. We are grateful for you, proud of you, and want all good things for you.

 

With love,
Mom

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