January 8th, 2006

Me'n'Baby-Greg

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Watching my new nephew get Christian-ized was way more complicated than I suspected. Because it happened during a Catholic mass, the baptism was bookended by an hour of churchness on each side. But what a pretty church, rather, cathedral. They have the most gorgeous building I've ever seen, though it's a bit ornate. I spent the two hours mostly gazing at the dozens of carved (wood, stone, plaster, gilt, you-name-it) figures, the thousands of gilt flower-thingies hanging from the ceiling, the bright paintings on the ceiling, the dozen Stations of the Cross sculptures encircling the benches, the 30-foot marble altar framing the 10-foot gilt Dying Jesus sculpture....

Anyhow, at some point we family in the first two rows were supposed to walk into the secret chamber of baptism, but no one explained this to us non-Catholics, and we heathens aren't allowed to engage in most Churchly activities, so a few of us sort of watched the procession of red-clad virgins lead the proper Saved family members and the new baby into the secret room (until my mom waved for us to follow). They annointed little Damien's head with a special mixture of olive oil and frankensense, then dribbled holi-fied water over his oily scalp. No crying at all: I have a fine nephew.

(By the way, I didn't see any big black dogs outside the cathedral. And Damien didn't burst into tears upon touching the holy liquids, nor did the gorgeous stained-glass windows shatter. So all seems well. *whew* Still, what were they thinking? Naming the boy after a healer-saint.)

Then off to the reception at my brother's wife's parents' (what are they officially called?) house... to celebrate the baptism, the new grandpa added vodka to my OJ. W00t! Party around the newly Xtian-ized baby! And he gave me a bottle of this amazing hot-sauce only available in one state outside its home country of Jamaica: It's called Pickappepa Pepper Sauce, and he bought a case of it (because he had to become an importer).

After getting OJ'd up, I got to hold my little nephew. What a good baby! I carried him around the house, showed him the Christmas tree lights (he loved 'em), the big windows through which one could watch squirrels scampering, and generally just bathed in the joy of holding this new baby boy who is kin to me. Huh, there is something to this kinship thing.

Hope y'all're well and happy and healthy.

Best,
Chris