Well. We finally settled on Godparents for Jacob. And, believe it or not, it was a lot easier this time than last. When I was pregnant with Christopher, we must have mulled it over for months. As Catholics, it is something that we take quite seriously. So Tim and I set up some criteria.
Criterion #1 - Catholicity. They must be practicing Catholics. And that means PRACTICING. In the Dictionary Of Me, "practicing" can be defined as REALLY GOES TO CHURCH. EVERY WEEKEND. AND HOLY DAYS. And, perhaps....maybe they even go on a weekday from time to time. It also means that they know their faith and have a love for it. Perhaps a devotion is exercised here or there. Maybe they even own a Rosary. And use it. In most cases this would narrow the candidate pool....but in our circle of family and friends, it really only shaves a few people off the top.
Criterion #2 - Proximity. As the role of Godparents is to provide a lived witness of the Faith to the child, we both feel that it's really important that these people are a frequent presence in our lives. I want my children to see them more than once a year. For both boys we considered family and friends who lived out of town, out of state, even out of the country. But we keep coming back to this consistency issue.
Criterion #3 - Family. There are certain things that, I feel, you have to use family for first. Whether it "should" be that way or not. Whether it's annoying or not. Whether you really want to or not. It's kind of like the whole issue of who you have in your wedding. There's a progression, and lest you have complete disregard for the possibility of alienating people who are bound to you FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE, you should really start there.
I tell you, we AGONIZED over this issue with Christopher. Is this person going to pass on the Faith to him the way WE will? Is that person around enough to really have an impact in his daily life? Is anyone going to get their feelings hurt if we ask so-and-so instead? Good grief.
But, the agony was worth it because I'm confident that we chose the PERFECT people for him.
And then I got pregnant again. I chose not to think about Baptism AT ALL FOR THE DURATION OF THE PREGNANCY because it's just too stressful. All of a sudden, Jacob was one whole month old and we'd only discussed the issue once. Maybe twice.
We both knew that we wanted to ask Tim's sister. She is the perfect match. We both adore her. And she adores our kids. Easy peasy. The real challenge was going to be finding a Godfather. Because, after all, what about THE CRITERIA?! So Tim says, without taking a breath, "What about your brother?" Once I regained consciousness, I asked him if he was serious. And then I asked him if he was sure. And he said yes. And I started crying.
You see, my brother lives in L.A. We see him maybe twice a year. And when it comes to criterion #1....well let me just say that when I told my mom who we were asking, her response was "are you hoping for a back-door conversion through Jacob?"
I finally called him last night to ask him if he'd do it. He provided a good deal of comedic effect when he asked me "how Christopher and...um....the other one...why can't I think of his name?" were doing. But when I asked him if he'd be interested in the job, he was speechless.
When he finally spoke he said that he'd be honored. And that he was humbled. And then he thanked me profusely. The conversation ended with a slew of dates that he'd be available to come up, even if he had to come up the weekend after he was up here for something else, he'd make the trip to be here for Jacob. With this, I knew that we'd made the right choice again.
The agony was different this time. And I should know by now that God often works in ways that are opposite to what I'm expecting. The first time we were looking for the people who Christopher needed in his life. This time, maybe we've found the people who need Jacob in theirs.