Our squiggle (squirty wiggle) was baptized Sunday morning. I changed his outfit two or three times before settling on the classic fake vest and collar onesie. It was too loose for my baby’s slender frame. I would have put him in a different outfit had not Green Mountain Man rolled his eyes at me.
We arrived at the middle school where our church met a few minutes early and spent some time deciding where we ought to sit. Towards the front but not too close, so that I could easily escape for nursing. We chose the end of the row, forcing my family when they arrived to walk over our Bibles and diaper bag to their seats.
Before the service began, I nursed our squiggle. A full baby is a happy baby and a happy baby makes for a cute baptism. He snoozed peacefully for the 15 minutes prior to his splashing. When it was time, Green Mountain Man held the squiggle and I followed them up the steps to the stage of the auditorium, which functioned as our sanctuary. A pale blue bootie fell on the linoleum floor. I scooped it up and tried not to make eye contact with the members of the congregation.
Then the pastor asked us to vow that we would raise our son in such a way that he would know the word of God. We vowed we would. Wait, I remember thinking. I should have spent more time preparing for these vows. Yes, I knew them. Yes, I fully agree with infant baptism, but I should have reviewed. I wish I had spent a little less time selecting the appropriate onesie and more time reading Scheaffer’s work on baptism. It was too late to prepare for the vows. However, I determined that I would further research the matter and prepare myself for the execution of my word.
Green Mountain Man held the sleeping Squiggle over the baptismal font, and the minister scooped the water and poured it over the baby’s head. His blue eyes opened looked annoyed and then closed wearily. No cries of pain from this one, but his other bootie fell off. Then the pastor asked, in his deep Southern accent, to pray for our little one. (He pronounces both t’s in little so that it sounds like “lit-till one.”) His prayer was similar to what ours has been – that the child will improve on his baptism by accepting the faith in which he will be reared. May it be so!