L’il Sis had her first child last Sunday. Todayy, the Muppet will be baptized. I find myself full of excitement and pride for my first niece, and then I feel guilty. I have two nieces on The Hubby’s side of the family, and they are no less important to me than the niece of my own blood. Yet, this little Muppet makes my heart swell so much more. This is L’il Sis’s first child; I remember when she was born.
When L’il Sis was born, I had to bring my brother with me to a friend’s birthday party. At seven years old, bringing your brother, three years your junior, is not the way to win friends at a birthday party. The same kids at that party picked on him at the bus stop one day; I’ve yet to tell him how proud I was for pushing back. They made him cry, but he made them run.
After L’il Sis was born, Dad stayed home with me and my brother. He cooked us hot dogs for dinner. He helped us make a big heart on the welcome home sign using a dinner plate to make the rounded parts. He helped us tape the sign in the big bay window that hung over the driveway so Mom and L’il Sis would see it when they arrived home.
Now, she has a baby of her own. No one hung a sign in the window, but both sets of grandparents travelled from several states away to meet the child. Her dog didn’t have to go to a party socially awkward because Grandpa hung around at home, knowing he’d only be stuck in the waiting room anyway.
Sunday, the Muppet will be baptized. I will be her Godmother. Me, the pagan. Me, the one who couldn’t find a tactful way to tell my mother I lost faith in the Catholic Church. Me, who asked ‘Are you sure you want me near a church at all?’.
Today is L’s birthday. I love his name, but I stopped using it for characters when a good friend first told me it was her husband’s name. I didn’t want to torment him, or even his name, because she was like a sister to me. As for L, I got over the torment of using a friend’s name when Poppy used the same L for a bitter ass of a man in the last book I read. She also used A in the same book, and now that name no longer means my neighbor’s little boy, but instead a serial killer with a unique passion for his victims.
The same missing friend and L have an anniversary coming up. I still know this, though my time with them has passed. I haven’t the heart to cross them off the calendar. No, instead, they’ll fade away when the year changes and a new calendar is purchased. Friends shouldn’t fade, like death’s memories and early morning fog. They should claw and cling and demand that things be made right. In a way, that happened too; I clawed with broken nails. Still, the fade is inevitable. I’ll not stand on the deck waving goodbye as the ship sets sail.
Speaking of baptisms, New Hampshire’s Pagan Pride day is next weekend. I used to know half the people that attended, years ago, when I last attended. This year, I’ll know no one and there’s a good chance I’ll chicken out and not go despite looking forward to it for months. I have a good excuse; the Muppet deserves a visit. I want to watch her grow up and I want to be the cool Aunt that is there for her when her first friendship goes south and she first crushes on the cute boy band of her generation.
Yes, I’ll be her Godmother. Yes, should I need to, I will take her in and teach her the ways of the Catholic faith. I will also teach her to appreciate the diversity of life. She who will be baptized in a Catholic ceremony, held by a godmother who embraces multiple gods as well as magic, has every opportunity in the world today. Life sprawls out before those small eyes and lays with reach of tiny fingers.