New, improved and free from original sin

The vision: celebrating our sons’ baptism in a gorgeous old cathedral, hushed voices echoing off vaulted ceilings, sun streaming through stained-glass windows, wooden pews buffed to a dull gleam, well-behaved boys mesmerized by a captivating sermon.

The reality: a touching but blissfully informal ceremony on plastic stackable chairs in the “gymnasium / cafetorium”-cum-church, punctuated by Simon asking every three or four minutes just loud enough for his voice to carry across the entire crowd, “We go now?”

The vision: returning to our sparkling clean house with my folks and my children’s godparents and their adorable daughter to snack on coffee and cake and delicate little sandwiches with cucumber garnish on the back deck in dappled sunshine.

The reality: ten frenzied minutes of throwing clutter out of the main part of the house just before we left, stopping on the way home to pick up a dozen and a half doughtnuts at Timmys, and sending Beloved out for takeout Kentucky Fried Chicken when noon rolls around and there is nothing even remotely suitable for lunch in the house.

You know what, though? It was perfect, even with the stacking chairs and the KFC**. The boys weren’t angels, but they were adorable in matching white GAP polo shirts and tan cargo pants and sandals. Amelia, the 16 month old daughter of the boys’ godparents, was angelic in a way that makes my ovaries pop with covetousness. Father John was kindly and patient didn’t seem to notice that Simon squirmed and wriggled incessantly and Tristan sang under his breath through most of the readings. Simon provided comic relief with his ongoing query of “We go now?” and by excitedly hopping up on the little stool in front of the baptismal font and declaring, “It’s my turn now!” after watching his brother being baptized.

Warning: sentimental moment pending.

Despite my misgivings and concerns about the Church as a whole, I found myself just a little verklempt standing at the baptismal font, basking for a moment in the spontaneous applause of the gathered families as Father John pronounced Tristan and Simon as baptized. (Not only were we in the front row, but we were first at every step. So much room for possible disaster, and yet it all went well. Another blessing!)

I may have trouble with a lot of the teachings of the Church, but I do believe, in my own way, in God, and in community, and especially in family. We made the right choice in baptizing the boys, even if the path to the baptismal font was a little convoluted.

I just have to learn to stop thinking about things so much.

** What is it about KFC? I spend months thinking of it purely toxic food, then somewhere a switch gets flipped and I start craving it. And over the course of another couple of months, the craving builds, and the whole time there is a little voice in my head that says, “Don’t do it. You’ll regret it.” And then I start talking aloud about wanting KFC, kind of like a little test to see if hearing it out loud will somehow alter the craving, and there is the voice of Beloved, who has seen this cycle more than a few times, saying, “Don’t do it. You’ll regret it.” But the craving builds up to an obsession, and I break down and order the damn KFC, and oh that greasy, salty crispy goodness, and the fries smothered in gravy and ketchup… and about a half an hour later and for the next three days, a grumbling, greasy bellyache and a vow to never, ever eat that crap again. And yet, a few months later…

Author: DaniGirl

Canadian. storyteller, photographer, mom to 3. Professional dilettante.

19 thoughts on “New, improved and free from original sin”

  1. Congratulations on the boys’ baptism (and on surviving the addictive KFC – I suspect that opium is one of the seven secret spices).

  2. Is it a Leo thing? Oh, I want that! The want becomes way more important than the actual thing you are coveting. I couldn’t figure out why all last night I felt off. I even said no to Dairy Queen. I was full and needed to take a shower. Then at 11:20 as I stumbled into to my well-behaved daughter’s room because she was calling to me in such a pleasant way (you can’t see it, but I am rolling my eyes now), it hit me. KFC.
    I welled up a couple of times. Especially during the “coming” into church as a community. That was new to me. Touching.

  3. I knew the boys would do great during the baptism! Your description made me feel like I was there.
    The KFC is a strong urge and one that always leaves me feeling horrific after I’ve given into it. Could it be that it’s like a virus, coming into a cycle once a year? Awful stuff, but oh so delicious…

  4. Congratulations to you all. And you don’t have to agree with everything the Church teaches. That’s why we have free will but listening is a good thing too. The Reason I still go to church.

  5. OH and KFC… I do the same thing and as I eat it I see the grease coming out of the chicken and go GROSSS. And I’m good for a good long time…until the next time all that advesting hits.

  6. i totally understand the KFC thing. I haven’t had it in years, but for a while there was a pattern I’d notice where I’d have it about once a year – long enough to forget how bad it made me feel and to start the craving all over again. It’s those secret herbs and spices…i’m sure at least one of them is addictive…
    congrats on the boys’ baptism 🙂 sounds like it was a great day.

  7. D – Haven’t done the batisim thing for fear of the fire & brimstone that would accompany my entry into a church or any edifice that stands in for one.
    As for KFC, you have obivously forgotten The Pentaveret (from So I Married an Axe Murderer).
    Stuart Mackenzie: Well, it’s a well known fact, Sunny Jim, that there’s a secret society of the five wealthiest people in the world, known as The Pentaveret, who run everything in the world, including the newspapers, and meet tri-annually at a secret country mansion in Colorado, known as The Meadows.
    Tony Giardino: So who’s in this Pentaveret?
    Stuart Mackenzie: The Queen, The Vatican, The Gettys, The Rothschilds, *and* Colonel Sanders before he went tits up. Oh, I hated the Colonel with is wee *beady* eye! And that smug look on his face, “Oh, you’re gonna buy my chicken! Ohhhhh!”
    Charlie Mackenzie: “Dad, how can you hate…the Colonel?”
    Stuart Mackenzie: “Because he puts an addictive chemical in his chicken that makes you crave it fortnightly, smart ass!”

  8. Congratulations on the baptism, Dani. Sounds like reality was better than the vision – makes it hit home that it really happened, rather than was a dream. 🙂
    Your description of KFC fits me perfectly.

  9. Congratulations on the baptism. I baptized my younger son just over a week ago. Although I am not at all religious, and the denomination (Orthodox) not my own, I too found the ceremony very moving. And I am glad I did it.
    ***Warning–if you want to keep eating KFC, stop reading now***
    As for the KFC, I had the same problem until I found a bit of chicken cartilage in the cole slaw. Yikes!

  10. The boys’ baptism sounds beautiful! So happy it went well!
    As for KFC… ditto here. Those cravings can be so strong!

  11. So happy to hear all went well with the baptism, reality more enchanting than the dreamy vision 😉
    I find it especially endearing that both boys got baptized on the same day. A special day for them both.
    As for KFC, I’ve vowed it off well over a decade ago. The kids have never experienced it. Don’t want to start them up on this addicton!!!

  12. Ah your description of the boys’ baptism sounds wonderful & it makes me dread what is being planned for us a little less. We’ll most likely be baptizing the Doodles in September when we go to Newfoundland, mainly to appease my in-laws. I have mixed feelings about it since we are not religious but it’s a nice way to keep the family at peace.
    As for the KFC, right with you there & obviously with most other commenters on those damn cravings. Twice a year is all I let myself have & twice a year it tastes so good going down & feels so bad afterwards. Ugh.

  13. Justa comment on the KFC craving. Before we moved to Germany wife was a die-hard veggie. But when we had BJ not 3 months after we arrived I stopped at the Wiesbaden KFC on the way home. I grabbed a small bucket – and ate it on the way home. I came in the next morning to see how wife was doing – and I think she sensed it (a little like a drug dog at Pearson airport smelling pot from the weekend on your jacket). Two weeks later she insisted we stop at KFC – and we did. She ended veggism right then and there – downing 4 pieces in 15 minutes.
    What I hadn’t told her (which she couldn’t have known) was that when you eat that much KFC you might as well guzzle a bottle of corn oil. She paid for it – but thanks to “greasy salty goodness” of KFC I eat ribs and steaks three times a week…
    Little known fact: there is a huge disparity in the amount of fat in fast food around the world. A group of docs who traveled alot sampled KFC and McDonalds at around 40 different locations, including the Wiesbaden KFC, around the world. They then analyzed the transfat content – and found it ranged from a high (in NYC) of 37% (grossss!!) to a low of 2%(in Wiesbaden). They concluded that although the food was the same (which is what fast food companies strive for) the preparation of it varied enough – and that transfat content is determined by how the food is cooked rather than the inherent fat content of the uncooked food. The upshot: if you come to Germany Micky D’s is actually good for you – but in NYC it is still bad…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *