8 months, 1 week & 2 days into Daddyhood

We christened our daughter on Sunday, the 22nd of March – Mother’s Day… so not only was it about welcoming Talise into the world, but also about welcoming Jo to motherhood – and a more general celebration of motherhood.

There were three great grandmothers there. There were family members who had not seen each other for over a decade. There were parts of Jo’s and my family who had never met. It was an emotional day. A tiring day. A good day. Jo’s home-baked pasties and scones went down a storm! And my brother and I had an enjoyable game of Cheggers Party Quiz on my PS2. So like I said, a good day.

But why did we decide to go down the christening route? I’ve thought about this and, to be honest, I’ve not been sure of my own answer to this question. Neither Jo nor I are, strictly speaking, Christians. Although I think it’s fair to say we both believe in the essence of Christianity. I think before I continue, however, I’ll say that from now on I will only speak of my beliefs – which should help to make a complicated question a little less complicated! So…

I believe that Jesus Christ existed (probably) and was, in some sense of the word, divine. I believe in “God,” in that I believe in a powerful, all-encompassing force, which may be deemed to be “conscious.” I believe Christ was the Son of God, but perhaps in the sense that we are all “Sons” of “God.” I believe that the religion – the collection of beliefs, tenets, etc – that has come to be known as Christianity is only one of many aspects of the Spiritual Essence of the universe. And so, in this sense, every other religion, if practiced with sincerity, is equally valid. That said, whether one “believes” in it or not, Christianity is a religion, in this part of the world, and amongst our friends and family, that most people get, and so it made sense for this reason to select a Christian-type celebration of new life/naming ceremony for Talise, to invite people to and expect that people would be likely to turn up to. Jo kind of admitted that this was why she wanted a christening (as opposed to a secular “naming ceremony”). And a phrase including the words “proof” and “pudding” comes to mind!

So the ceremony was… moving. More moving than I expected. During the singing of the hymns, Morning Has Broken and Amazing Grace (as chosen by Jo), I got so choked up, I think I only managed to get out about half the words. We were singing (in a manner of speaking) these hymns for Talise! In fact… everyone was here and this ceremony was being held… for Talise! For our beautiful baby girl! Our family and friends travelled, from Cornwall, Bristol, Belfast, Church Stretton, Wales, etc, for Talise! We rushed around like insects of cerulean posteriors for nearly three whole days, and I ended up being sick three times in quick succession on the following Monday evening… for Talise! 🙂

I didn’t sleep much on Sunday night. Neither Talise nor I slept much on Monday night. I still felt knackered and queasy on the Tuesday afternoon following. So was it worth the effort, the tiredness, the being sick and so on? In front of my computer screen at work is a photo of my daughter in her cute little poncho, reaching out towards a bright red teething toy, which is being held by Jo, the photographer. Her big bright eyes, her little round chin, her soft chubby cheeks… all innocence, all beauty, all childhood curiosity…

Worth the effort?

You are worth every effort, my special, darling, beautiful girl… xxxxxx