I was part of a movement of "dinosaur moms" when I lived in Maryland (Astrodon Johnstoni is the Maryland state dinosaur.) Which is nothing more than this -- dinosaur moms delight in the half-feral nature of the beasties they parent, even as they whisper Shakespeare and Kierkegaard in their ears at night.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Baptism by Committee

UU's don't baptize, since, as the saying goes, the Universalist thinks that God is too good to damn him and the Unitarian thinks he is too good to be damned. What we do is a "dedication." We had our children dedicated a few Sundays ago. Some weeks prior, the minister had had the group of us parents in to personalize the ceremony and we had filled up a white board with our brainstormed blessings.

A lot of our personal baggage shone through. As many of our group are lesbian/ gay, there was a big emphasis on thinking the unthinkable and on unconditional parental love. Also, many were new parents, still in the first throes of I love you so much it hurts; and hadn't quite gotten to our stage, where it's more like, please let some of my civilizing influence sink in. We veterans were in the minority.

Well, the minister was ill and so it fell to another of the staff to distill our thoughts into something coherent for the dedication. The result was that we all stood and recited the following aloud:

We want for our children to be happy, healthy, adventuresome, and to have a reverence for life. We hope that they enjoy growing up and remember their childhoods findly. We want them to be curious, inquisitive, and always have a sense of humor. We want for our children to be strong and wise, to discover and explore boundless opportunities; and to know and never lose their sese of joy. We want them to grown up in a community that is supportive, sustaining, welcoming, and safe. We wish for them to live a life of love with a sense of enduring hope and the knowledge that no matter what they for and where they go, we will alwys look after them, and never love them any less. We hope that they will trust us and know and remember that everything and anything is possible. We want them to have the strength, wisdom, and courage to make the world a better place -- and to do it together. We wish for them to be frank, forthright and just [mine], and to model it in the world; and that we as parents and a community will provide strong examples of that. We want them to have a spirituality based in many traditions and ideals, and to know the fulfillment of work, reaching out to others, and putting forth effort [also mine]. We want them to know that they will never be lost or forsaken; and that they be able to count on themselves, each other, and the rest of us. We hope that they will find a spiritual path at an early age, but to never stop questioning; and to have a sense of meaning and purpose always, no matter what life brings. We want them to find a path and life that they choose, and always know that they are loved beyond our measure.


That. Is what happens when you are blessed by committee.

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