Tuesday, May 08, 2007
The Z-Man Smileth
This is my godson Z-Man. I flew to Philadelphia this weekend to meet him and smother him with kisses and cuddles - and oh yeah, to promise to help raise him in the faith. I renounced all the forces of wickedness (again) and prayed while my godson was being marked up with oil and splashed with water. I loved it. Of course, I pretty much love all the liturgy in the Episcopal Church. Sometimes my witchy side cringes when certain priests get going - especially if they start to get all Baptist on me and say the words "precious Lord" too many times. I figure it balances out because my churchy side gets squicked out by some of the more froo-froo New Agey folks in Circle. I try to focus only the parts I like from both of my paths. I'm a blend, blend, blend kind of gal.
I tell you though, it's a darn good thing I renounced the forces of wickedness (and yea, verily did I renounce them) on Saturday morning. Otherwise my fellow godparent might have become headless. St. Ann is one of my dearest friends and her husband, John the Magnificent or JTM for short, is a prince of a guy. JTM's parents are kind and funny. I enjoy them very much. JTM's brother, on the other hand, is a dickhead. I'm talking, a total asshat. I guess it happens in the best of families.
On Saturday there was a lot going on. Baby ZMan was being baptized and 50 someodd folks were being confirmed or received into the church. JTM was one of those being confirmed. The plan was to all go to church and then head back to St. Ann's for a luncheon. There was even MORE going on when JTM's other son (who is 6) decided that he didn't want to wait and get baptized all by himself. Apparently he'd been talking in Sunday school about getting baptized but waited until Saturday morning to let his parents know that today was the day! The rector agreed to it, the Bishop thought it a fine idea, and luckily his Sunday school teacher was in the pew right behind the baptismal family's and whispered a smiling "Yes, I'd be delighted" when asked if she'd like to be an impromptu godmother. (She even had a present for him in her car! We had to rush to the church gift shop after the service but that woman was prepared. I can only dream of being that prepared.)
Baptisms are lovely affairs where we get to march to the baptismal font for some splashing and we get to pray that the newly baptised be guided in all good things and be given an inquiring mind and a discerning heart. The words of the BCP are truly beautiful. Did this impress the godfather? Not so much. He leaned over halfway through the service - about a nanosecond after the baptisms and confirmations were done - and whispered loudly, "Hey, we're gonna go back to your place. You gotta spare key?" Before the service the priest had made sure to tell us that the little boys were welcome to go play on the playground after their part. They'd gotten squirmy and we'd sent them out. You'd think that the 36 year old could manage to stay for communion, wouldn't you? Wouldn't you think that the godfather would be willing to stay and meet the priest at least? Guess not. Of course this was the guy who had called to bitch and whine about having to wear a suit to this thing. Can you imagine? Making the most of it, JTM asked his brother to take the two boys with him. After the service, Nana (St. Ann's mom) took the two girls (8 and 10 years old) back to the house to start getting the luncheon things set out while we mingled and made a quick run through the gift shop. As we were leaving the gift shop, which was waaaay down in the basement of the church and sort of around a corner, the youth leader walks in with St. Ann and JTM's sons and says, "See, I told you we'd find them. They're right here." WTF??? They were supposed to have gone with Brother Can't Be Bothered 45 minutes ago!!!!!!! The boys told us that he had come out to the playground to get them but they had wanted to stay and play. So he let them. That might have been fine IF HE HAD LET US KNOW!!! What kind of grown up takes responsibility for two little guys and then just leaves them? To make it worse, when JTM asked him about it he got PISSED and said, "What? They didn't want to go. I wasn't going to make them." He completely missed the point about letting someone know. St. Ann said he is self-centered like that. She was surprised that he hadn't just helped himself to the food before everyone got back. Apparently he's done that before. He had helped himself to some beers already but that just made St. Ann and JTM laugh. The beer he snagged was left over beer from the wedding (in Sept!) that no one else would touch. He spent the rest of the afternoon saying embarassing and hurtful things about his 5th grade son. One of the guests tried to get him to change tracks by saying, "Man, you're embarassing the guy." Brother Asshat's response? "Well, maybe he'll go away and stop bothering us then." Geez! The kid was great. He was just sitting talking with the grown ups because he was the oldest kid there.
As far as I'm concerned I'm a single godparent. Oh wait - no. St. Ann's brother is a godfather too even though he couldn't be there on Saturday. He's a pretty cool dude. I think he and I need to get together and quietly vote Brother Blacksheep off the island. ZMan will thank us for it later.
The rest of the weekend was fantastic! It was relaxed and fun. ZMan is a jolly boy and a big flirt. The other four kids were sweet to me and LOVED showing off their brother. Hanging out with St. Ann and JTM was exactly what I needed. It is so nice to compare notes with good friends who understand the challenges of a big, blended family. I even had a nice trip back - once we figured out that the huge, black plume of smoke rising up from behind the airport was garbage/something being burned at an industrial facility and not a problem on the runway! On the plane home I met a sparkly, young gal who had been in Philly to see her boyfriend. She's from Alabama. She and her boyfriend have been together for three and a half years and plan to marry - but she worries about how their families will get along. She thinks all the parents will be fine but their brothers will be a different matter. Her future brother-in-law is a self-important wiseguy named Tony, who talks like he's in the Sopranos. She described her brother Tooter as "Kramer all jacked up on redneck." I wished her luck and said that it sounded like a reality tv series in the making. All families have their issues, don't they?
Currently my family's issue is that we have too much crapola! After the kids had lugged a few boxes to storage, they got on board with the idea that we should throw/give stuff away. Now. This very minute. Before it gets packed in heavy boxes that have to get moved to storage, then into a truck, then into another house. I'm a smart mom for packing all the hardback books first, aren't I?
Peace to the People!