I've been working on my kids' baby books lately. I know, they're four and two-years-old. The baby years are long gone, but those books keep staring at me! I'm determined to finish them before they start kindergarten at least! As I was flipping through the pages trying to remember the details of their baby years to fill in the blanks I came to the page asking who their godparents are. I sighed as I skipped the page because my kids don't have godparents... and it makes me a little sad.
I grew up Catholic. I was baptized as a baby and my own godparents (one of my dad's sisters and her husband) were in attendance. They actually live far away so I didn't see them much growing up, but I did fly to their home a few times when I was younger to be with them. I really can't say, however, that they've had a big impact on my spiritual upbringing.
Over the years I actually decided to leave the Catholic church and joined a Protestant church. I decided to get baptized again as an adult and since then I have taken my faith more seriously than I ever did growing up. The thing is, in my particular faith tradition we don't perform infant baptisms and godparents just aren't a thing. At least not in any formal way.
When our children were born my husband and I never even discussed godparents. Instead of baptizing them we had child dedications in which we promised before our church to raise them in the faith and the church promised to help us in this endeavor. I cherish their child dedications and I'm thankful that our church really has been an integral part of their faith education.
Of course, my husband and I will be there to answer questions and ponder the universe with them, but sometimes you want to talk to someone other than Mom or Dad, right?
But there's still a part of me that wishes my kids had godparents. A special set of people to look up to for spiritual advisement. Someone to look out especially for them and be there for them in times of trouble and in times of celebration. Of course, my husband and I will be there to answer questions and ponder the universe with them, but sometimes you want to talk to someone other than Mom or Dad, right?
I've been wondering if it's too late now to choose godparents for our children. Is it silly? And who would we choose anyway? My own experience with my godparents has made me extremely picky. I want someone who is strong in their faith. Someone who really cares for and loves my kids. Someone who will patiently and thoughtfully teach them about the Bible and God's love. Someone who will always be there for them no matter where life takes them. On the other hand, I don't want anyone to feel left out if they aren't chosen.
Maybe I should just let it go. Maybe instead of choosing just one set of godparents for my kids they can have a whole bunch of godparents. My husband and I are blessed to have many family members and friends who love God and love our kids. My hope is that my children will always have someone to turn to for advice and counseling. Hopefully they will be able to form special spiritual relationships with others more organically instead of feeling forced.
Either way, it is what it is. My kids may not have official godparents, and I have to be okay with that. Instead they have an entire church family and in some ways, that's even better.