Friday, January 12, 2007

Holy Moly

Christian's baptism/christening (what's the difference anyway?...please enlighten me if you know) was on January 2nd. We had the whole affair done while we were in El Salvador on vacation because almost my entire family lives there and the ones that don't were there on vacation, so how convenient was that?

I haven't gotten the pictures from my sisters yet (they took lots of pictures), so we'll have to make due with what I got from my uncle and from my camera (which wasn't much since I was holding the child and nobody thought to grab my camera and take pictures with it).

The ceremony was in a small church only minutes away from my grandmother's house (in San Salvador everything is "only minutes away"), very convenient. Friends and family were gathered outside and then made their way into the church as the 11 o'clock hour approached. My mom had gone to the place where the reception was going to be held, so she almost missed the baptism because the priest started 5 minutes before 11 am!

The priest said a couple of kind words and then called the parents and godparents up to the altar. My two sisters and their husbands served as the godparents. First he anointed Christian with some oils on his chest. I thought for sure that Christian was going to whack the priest across the face or shoo his arm away, so I held on to his little arm. Fortunately, he didn't feel the need to hit him at that moment, so all was well. He asked us all to pledge our faith and then took us over to the baptismal area. Mind you, Chris hates having water poured on his head even during bath time, so once again, I was a little fretful of what was going to happen when the priest poured the water over his head. Amazingly enough though, nothing happened. He didn't even wince or make a peep. Wow.

After that we went back to the front of the altar for more anointments and once again he let the priest bless him without any protest. All was going well until the priest brought out the hood that goes over his head. Chris HATES having things put on his head (hats, antlers, water, hoods, name it). It all went downhill from there. At that very moment, he decided he didn't want to be carried anymore. He wanted to walk down the altar steps and take a stroll around the church. Seeing as how the ceremony wasn't over, I couldn't really let him do that. He was wiggling and squirming everywhere and throwing a tantrum...I was afraid the church would revoke his new "membership" with the way he was acting. The priest was trying to say some closing words and handed the microphone to Christian so he could play with it. Wouldn't you know it my son whacked the microphone away as if to say "get this crap out of my face". Classic. We got it on video too, so we can preserve it for all time. Lovely.

By the time the ceremony actually WAS over he had had it. There was no way we could get a decent family picture up by the altar. In every picture he's either crying or fighting or looking somewhere else or pointing or hitting or biting someone. little angel. Fortunately when we got outside, he calmed down and behaved well for the rest of the event.

The party afterwards was at the country club which was right across the street from the church (ah...the convenience continues). We had almost 50 friends and family members in attendance and it was nice to see a lot of people that I don't get to see all the time. My cousin's girlfriend Gracia sang a beautiful song for us and we had a DJ playing some nice music. My mom hates seeing an empty dance floor, so she got up to dance to kick things off. After a little while, my mom had everyone cutting a rug. It was really fun to see all these people in the middle of the day partying like it were midnight. Those Salvadoreans sure know how to drink party! When the alcohol started to wear off music was toned down, everyone gathered for a delicious buffet and some yummy cake.

The event went wonderfully and I think everyone had a good time. Christian took a much-needed nap in the middle of it all and had a great time being the center of attention and playing with his aunt and uncle. I'm happy that we (I) decided to baptize him in El Salvador. It was wonderful to be able to share Christian's first sacrament with my family over there since I don't get to seem them as often as I would like.

When we got back to grandma's house mommy Christian opened his gifts and got lots of nice presents: a bathrobe, a children's bible, two charms, a painting, two ceramic figurines, several outfits, toy blocks, gift certificates, and much more (that I can't remember right now). The following day we were on a flight back home and it was quite the bittersweet moment. I was happy to finally be getting back to my (and Christian's) routine, but at the same time, I was sad to leave everyone behind. Christian's first trip to El Salvador went wonderfully and I'm especially thankful that none of us got sick with the Hershey squirts while we were over there. The trip was fun and uneventful (except for the tremor we felt....another first for Ren and Chris), which is just how you want a trip with a toddler to be. Hopefully it's only the first of many visits that we will be paying to my home country.

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