To date, I haven’t written about my beautiful, bouncing, smiling, drooling, gurgling 6-month old baby boy. Garrett McConner, AKA “Baby G” broke up the dynamics of our tribe at 9:03 a.m. on Wednesday, July 27, 2011. He came out jovial, calm, cool and collected with a kind of swagger no baby should understand. He had all the nurses at the hospital wrapped around his finger. He has a head full of curly hair, and dimples that will one day break some little girl’s heart.
Now my husband and I both belong to his childhood church Zion Bethlehem Missionary Baptist. Although we don’t faithfully attend we are believers in Christ and decided almost in unison to have both our children Dedicated there. Our dear Aunt Faye (also the church Secretary) asked if we wanted to have Baby G’s the first Sunday in January. Truthfully, I didn’t look at the calendar before agreeing. It didn’t hit either of us until the week before that we were in fact asking our family and friends to spend the very first day of the year in Church with us. What a sacrifice.
We chose to forego our quaint New Year’s Eve soiree we were invited to in an effort to be there on time. In fact, it’s the first time I can recall having fallen asleep before the clock struck midnight on New Year’s Eve in years. I was tired. These two babies wear me out. I was so busy preparing clothes, snacks and baby bags for the service that I hadn’t reflected on the importance of what we were gathering to do. It wasn’t until the next day when I looked around the church and noticed at least a third of the congregation there in support of our family that it hit me. Three years of fertility treatments later, after being told I needed to find a surrogate if I wanted babies, here we were surrounded by family as we DEDICATED our baby back to Christ. So what is a Dedication? To me it is a promise to God to do everything within our power to provide our children with the tools necessary to develop their own relationship with Him. It’s a vow to teach our children God’s word and train them to strive to be Christ like in their daily journey. As the Pastor reminded us, our parents and Godparents of our Christian responsibility to this young soul, tears welled up in my eyes. The charge we have been given, the gift of parenthood; at this moment seems overwhelming. Not because of diaper changes, midnight feedings, etc… but the thought of raising a God fearing child in the way they should be, when I myself don’t read the bible every day, and pre-babies I can’t promise you I prayed every night seems far reaching. Do people take these types of services for granted? Do we take time to reflect on the purpose of what can easily be conveyed as just tradition?
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.t5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.”
Now that’s a New Year’s Resolution! The idea of raising our children in a way that would be pleasing to God is no small feat in a world where Nikki Minaj gets more Google hits than the Bible. And don’t even get me started on the Cartoon Network. I am grateful we have an entire village, including awesome Godparents (you will hear about in the future) to help us with our journey. So I accept the challenge, but if you catch me slippin, help a sista out!