Saturday, December 19, 2009

What To Wear To A Baptism

I am tired of the gray. There, I've said it. And it's not even raining today, just gray and getting colder. We're working our way to freezing and of course here we have no promise of snow, pure and clean and freshly fallen to cover up the brown sins of summer's dead leavings. No. It will all just go brown and and that is that and that will be that.

Of course the magnolia will still be green and some other trees too. Do you know there is not one pine tree in this yard? I often wonder what the yard looked like a hundred and fifty years ago. I think the oaks were as big then as they are now, but for the rest of it? Who knows?

But it's gray like I said and getting colder and no prospect of Owen to fill my arms until Monday. He is with his mama today and will be with his other grandma on Sunday. She'll probably take him to church. Oh boy.

Yesterday Mr. Moon and Owen got in the big tub together for a bath. I did take pictures but listen- when it comes to Mr. Moon and nakedness, there is just so much skin. And I would post them because they are beautiful but I doubt he'd approve. But it was a precious bath, I tell you that. My two boys in the water, the heater on in the bathroom and Owen's skin all new and fresh and his smile so big at the delight of it all and my husband's skin, so beloved by me and his smile so big, too, at the delight of holding that small body in his arms.

We talked about it all evening, how Owen had taken a bath with his grandfather.

It's funny how both Mr. Moon and I have gotten in the tub with our grandchild. I did it the first time Owen came to stay with me. Perhaps we have some gene for baptism in us. Get in the holy clean water with our holy little boy. His other grandmother wants him to be baptized for real in a church and a very long white dress and I guess he will be. I tend to think that the water in our tub is as holy as the water in the church font. But that's just me.

When I picked Owen up yesterday a very light misty rain was falling and he seemed to enjoy the feel of it on his face. Now THAT is a real baptism in my mind. The water falling from the sky on the little baby's face and making him smile in wonder. No priestly man in a dress involved. Cutting out the middle man, as I tend to say. Strictly between a child and the sky. A holy rite, which seems perfectly right in my mind.

Well, whatever. We have baptized Own in our way, the sky has baptized him in its way, the church will baptise him as it does. It all adds up to the same thing whether he is naked, wearing his little red pants and jacket or a long white dress.

The sun has just broken through for a moment, the oatmeal is beginning to simmer. It is six days before Christmas.

I offer no pictures today. I'm tired of the gray ones and the naked ones are too naked. My face is too naked too, I think. So make them up in your mind. The grandfather and the baby in the tub, the sun trying to shoot through the gray, the woman trying to find the words to make the picture.

Your vision is as accurate as anything. I promise you.


  1. No need for a picture (though I do love your pictures), the ones you made in my mind are beautiful enough. Besides, I've seen the pics of Daddy in the tub with Lily when she was a baby. Good thing she was such a big girl! (Okay, that's the only joke I'm going to make on that subject.) At least the sun is coming out now. If it must be cold, and no snow, at least there is sunshine.
    Beautiful writing, Marmee.

  2. Darling Girl May- Thank-you. And I am thinking about your suggestion of eliminating the tamales this year. But I do love those things. We shall see. I love you so much...Mama

  3. I do like the idea of baptism by rain.

  4. How wonderful and blessed that you and Mr. Moon get to bathe with your grandson.

    I get the way you feel about the gray. I hate the gray of winter and it's the main thing that makes me love it out here where there is literally none. I really don't miss it at all.

    I think you should put on some of that red lipstick you wear to counter the gray.

  5. Beautiful images in my mind of your two boys :) The tub is healing somehow, with a baby.

    I'm totally snowed in today here...we're at about 7 inches and counting fast.

  6. I agree that the baptism in your tub and the one in the rain are just as valid, if not more so. I bet Mr. Moon and Owen had a blast!

    Snow and wind here. I need the sun! But in 3 days I will be on a plane. To Texas and my parents. And my sister and her husband and their 3 beautiful children, and my 88 year old grandmother. To take a picture of the 4 generation of women to place in the beautiful frame for her.

  7. Oh, lovely. The first time I get in the bath with my baby girl was transcendent alright. And hten to lie with her as she laughed and giggled and smiled on her creamy towel afterwards, this perfect pink vision of naked lovely perfection... well, I couldn't have been any more bonded if someone had glued us together cheek to cheek.

    I wish someone had told me about it sooner. Then I wouldn't have near drowned her in the baby bath when she was a tiny infant. That was... traumatic.

  8. The gray is what makes winter hard. We only get snow a few days a year and the rest of the time we have to battle the gray as well. Just not today.

    Oh and Jeff Bridges is beautiful.

  9. Each time we experience nature in all its holiness, it is another baptism.

  10. Ohmigoddess! That one comment is hilarious... guess we can all make some money. haha. Not really funny.

    I love the word pictures, Ms. Moon. I too have bath and skin pictures that I just love. Your blog, and many others, is beautiful testament to loving life, is inspiring to write from heart.

    Once again... I am grateful to have found this sweet spot!

    Happy Day. xoxoLC

  11. Now two feet and counting...

  12. @ ms moon..i hate the absence of light during winter...:-(

    but i totally love this post and your musings about to wear to a baptism?..nothing but beatifull and perfect skin..:_)

  13. Stephanie- Me too. Let the rain wash us of our sins and the dirt. Let the rain bless us.

    Elizabeth- As I read your comment, I had my lipstick in my hand. Quite literally. It helped for a moment. The sun is out now and I am grateful. We don't usually get such gray winters. El Nino is rocking our world here in Florida but we like that baby boy because he keeps the hurricanes away and brings us more gentle water.

    SJ- Are you okay? Do you have food? I hope so.
    Stay warm.

    Ms. Dish- I hope it is a beautiful time in Texas. I would love to see that picture.

    Jo- I learned about getting in the tub with my first and it was such a beautiful thing with each of my children. I love how when they are tiny you can hold their heads up and let them float and you can see them open their eyes and their bodies to the water, recognizing it and being delighted.

    Mwa- Isn't he? I wish I could send some of the sun which is shining now to you.

    Nancy- So true, my dear. So true.

    Deb- Thank-you for seeing.

    Swallowtail- I am about to have to reintroduce the damn verification word. I am starting to get lots of spam comments. Usually on older posts and I go back and delete but it's a pain in the ass.
    And I am glad you have found this spot and that you like it.

    SJ- Sounds horrifying to me.

    Danielle- Absolutely.

  14. She calls you marmee? That is the sweetest thing I have EVER heard. truly.

  15. Love your writing on Babtisms. Raindrops on a baby's face, perfect. Remember I was saying I thought you'd really love Abigail Thomas, that her writing reminded me of you? Well, the last piece in her memoir Safekeeping is about placing her newly born granddaughter in the tub with her daughter (the baby's mother). I wish I had the book here to share the piece with you. But she talks about how the baby relaxes and her eyes closd and starte moving immediately beneath the lids, in REM dream sleep, as if she was placed back in the womb. It was am amazing image.
    You're right, you have baptized Owen in your own way and it's really beautiful and sweet.

  16. I've been out playing with my friends and the dog :) I'm great. Plenty of food, and beer...all we need. Loving this.

  17. Kori- We are all in love with Little Women here.

    Bethany- Damn. Perhaps I Am Abigail Thomas and I just don't know it.

    SJ- Well, great! Carry on!

  18. It sounds like a delightful bath. It was the exact baptism that I had, and I'm as holy as they come. Or as wholey. Whatever.

  19. I'm sick of the gray too. yesch!

    We did a little earth ceremony with Griffin and just presented him to the elements, spirits and directions and made promises of teaching him right and to respect the earth and it's creatures in return for guidance and protection for Gman. It was lovely. Then it began to rain, and in some native beliefs (maybe all) that is good luck.

    I loved your description of Owens reaction to the drizzle. That was lovely. My kind of baptism for sure.
    xo pf

  20. Aunt Becky- You see? It works!

    Ms. Fleur- And that has worked, too.

  21. Hi,

    I come via Aunt Becky's blog of all awesomeness.

    And can I say, that was beautiful. Just perfect.



  22. You are just as an amazing writer as she and somehow I just think maybe your muses are sisters or something. Read her non fiction, I promise you will like her stuff.

  23. Princess Jo- Well! I am so glad you dropped by! I hope you visit again.

    Bethany- I've got her name written down for my next trip to the library.

  24. We finially baptized our 15 year old daughter last june at our parish and dressed her in the traditional white,poofy,top of the knees,baptism dress with the matching bonnet,white tights and white 'mary jane' shoes.Instead of the normal disposable diaper under her tights,she chose to wear a cloth diaper and rubber pants under them.she looked very cute and gorgeous in the outfit and some of the photos we took of her didnt turn out so we only have a few photos gathered from friends and relatives.


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