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.