Monday, March 23, 2009

the baptism that wasn't

I had spent much time in preparation for this Sunday morning; making arrangements to get a letter from Julia Ellen's godparent's priest (they live in Maine) stating that they are Catholics in good standing, asking new friends to be proxy godparents, getting the family Christening bowl up from Portsmouth, talking with both priests involved in our parish, writing the thank you note, and making sure the baby was fed up before Mass so she wouldn't cry. I packed the tote bag with the usual Mass items such as religious coloring books, board books, and holy cards to sort. I was ready and needed to be since there was only a 10-15 minute window available immediately after 8am Mass for the baptism, since Father had to leave to say Mass in his other parish in South East DC.

We all got to the church on time, sent Will back to put on his vestments, and settled everyone into the front two pews of the little stone church. Tim went to park the car and came in a few minutes before Mass was to begin, leaving the Christening gown and bowl in the van for retrieval afterwards.

Then it happened...

Charlie said, "I feel sick," and started vomiting all over himself, Tim, and the pew. This is every parent's worst Mass nightmare, especially since the priest was just about to come up the aisle. Right away we hauled him out and I said to another parishioner who was just walking in, "I need help!" While Tim took the little boys home to clean up, the kind gentleman and I started gathering paper towels, water, and a trash bag to sop up the mess right in the middle of the Prayers at the foot of the Cross. We got it all clean and tossed out the coloring books, cloth diaper, and other items that were not salvageable. I was grateful that my 10 year collection of holy cards missed Charlie's aim.

"Well, obviously we lost our window of opportunity," I explained to Father after Mass, "Tim hasn't gotten back yet." "We can just do the baptism next week, it will be fine," he reassured me. Afterwards in the parish hall he did bless little Julia Ellen, just as Father Corapi (of EWTN fame) did to Maggie when she was 3 days old. (our priest at the time wouldn't baptize her until Tim came home from deployment)

So, I will pack up all the gear: the bowl, the gown, the letter, the thank you note, the board books and holy cards, and fresh coloring books in the tote bag next Sunday morning and we will make sure to add to that stash a barf bag so we don't have to postpone Julia Ellen's welcome into the family of God yet again.


Mau said...

Ugh! Barfing at Mass is my absolute worst nightmare. At least it was before Mass began and not during the consecration! We had one lose it right after receiving communion on Ash Wednesday. Thankfully she was old enough to bolt for the door as the nausea swept over her. She almost made it out the door. Almost :-)

God Bless your new little one, especially as she is officially welcomed into the Church family next Sunday.

Debbie said...

So sorry to hear of the sickness! I hope no one else gets sick so the baptism can happen next Sunday. Glad to hear the priest was so amenable to do the baptism the next week.

Your post reminded me of the time my oldest barfed at Mass when we lived on Bolling AFB. It was in the old chapel (not sure if it's still there), and they had velvet covered cushions on the pews! What a mess it was!

Anonymous said...

I find it a little bit bothersome that your priest didn't want to baptize your daughter until your husband got home. What if something happened to her in the meantime? Isn't having her baptized- understanding that for Catholics baptism is not just a symbolic gesture- far more important than who is there to see it happen?

Anonymous said...

My daughter is 15 and we baptized her last year at easter vigil.We did the traditional white,poofy,top of the knees dress baptism dress with a matching bonnet,lace anklets and white mary janes.i made her cloth diaper by sewing the gerber cloth diapers together to make one diaper and then got the traditional white adult size rubber pants to go over it.we took her outfit to the parish nursey and when it came time to dress her,we had her lay in a baby crib.she was nervous and shaking as i pinned her diaper on her then put the rubber pants and her under shirt on her.she was sitting there in the crip while i was getting her dress ready and all of a sudden she barfed.she got her under shirt and the rubber pants and the crib sheet.i took the under shirt off of her and the rubber pants and took them to the rest room and washed the shirt and the rubber pants and dried them under the hand drier.she pulled the crib sheet off and set it on the floor.i put the rubber pants and tee shirt back on her and then her dress and bonnet and socks and shoes.she told me she was nervous about having the diaper and rubberpants put on her like a baby.her baptism went off with out a hitch.