A few years ago, I was lunching with my cousin’s wife, who has become a dear, close friend. (Note: don’t let the use of the word “lunch” as a verb fool you, we were both on break from our 9-5’s at a one “$” place.)
“What’s new?” I asked her. “Nothing much” she started. . .but then she said “well, actually, we are expecting.” Given the relationship I have with her, my cousin (her husband) and their older child, I knew that I would love this child FIERCELY.
Fast forward to a few months later, April 1, 2013. When I woke up, I saw that I had received a text with a picture. The picture was of a baby on top of a scale, a TON of black hair on its head, and a peaceful smile (I think it was peaceful, maybe this is nostalgia.) “Hi” was the caption. I wasn’t sure, is this an April Fool’s joke? But then I knew, it had to be real. I would soon met my newest family member.
And that was it. In the weird math of love, my whole heart belonged to her, while she also had her own special piece that had always been waiting for her.
I am only slightly embarrassed to say that I campaigned to be her godmother. I offered PowerPoint presentations, testimonials, references, and college funds. Finally, in exchange for my dignity, I was entrusted with this honor.
AKG is decisive and smart; she doesn’t hesitate to let you know her boundaries. She is everything I hope to be on my strongest days, and should she someday tell someone “this is my Auntie” with pride, I will dance up to St. Peter with grateful tears in my eyes.
Note on godparents in the Catholic tradition: The tradition of godparents started with the early Christians. Because this new community was made of converts, it was likely that their families were not living as Christians. If parents were no longer able to raise their children (not a distant thought given the persecution at the time,) they wanted to make sure that the children were raised in the Christian tradition. The way to ensure that was to designate godparents within the Christian community to take the children and raise them rather than a non-Christian family member. This is likely the reason that godparents are often mistaken as designated guardians in today’s world, which may or may not be true.