I love baptisms. And I usually cry at them, even if it is not my own child. There is something so beautiful about being a witness to a child being committed to Christ. I just love it.
But, my love for baptisims has waned a bit over the last year. As the reality that we will probably not be the parents bringing a child to baptism anymore has set in, baptisms have just gotten a bit harder to attend. Do not get me wrong, I am still joyful for our friends, but there is just a part of me that gets sad.
So, when we headed to good friends' daughter's baptism, two weeks ago, I surrounded myself with my boys and hugged them a little bit tighter, reminding myself of how abundantly I have been blessed as the priest got to the point where the baptisim would begin.
And then it happened. A pure gift. The priest, who happens to be a friend of our family, called my three sons up to serve during the baptism. All three of my sons. Even my 4 yr old. And I almost held him back, but so glad I did not.
My oldest was asked to hold the prayer book while the priest prayed. And my other two were charged with the task of holding the Chrism oil and the oil of the Catechumen. Even though I worried that my 4 yr old would spill the oil all over (he didn't), my predominant feeling was one of thanksgiving. As I was able to watch my boys up at the altar, I was truly struck with the blessings that I have because God gave me THEM. And I was a proud mom too. My 9 yr old looked like a professional altar server (he will not be trained as one until later this year), and my 6 and 4 yr old stood there *almost* perfectly.
And I teared up. I am not sure why just seeing them up there filled me with thanksgving for what I had instead of, at that same moment, at a baptisim just a few weeks earlier, I was saddedend by the blessings that would NOT come, but having those boys up there, serving at the altar made me realize, even more, that God has given me an incredible gift in these three amazing boys.