The Godfather Part 4
Last Sunday I was honoured and proud to become Godfather to Harry, my nephew, and firstborn (and only so far) of any of C’s three sisters and first grandchild for my mother-in-law). C was Godmother too.
This was my fourth Godchild alongside my own sister’s two boys, and the daughter of one of my best friends from university. This christening was slightly different, however, in that it took place in Royston Vasey, and in a Catholic Church. Indeed, the Catholic Church where C and I were married nearly fifteen years ago.
The christening had been long and somewhat fraught in the planning. When you have four sisters (mother and three aunties) and two grandmothers, the clothes shopping alone can be perilous and tedious. I think that the youngest sister, R, had the right idea – she decided to opt out and go on holiday in France instead. Perhaps it was just a happy coincidence, but, I am not entirely sure.
So, that left just three sisters to a) confirm that all would be wearing summer dresses, b) ensure that colour schemes and styles were communicated so that there was no duplication and no clashing, and c) ensure the procurement of matching shoes, bags, jewelry, etc. and, d) kit out their better halves (husband and partners) in complimentary outfits. The main retail outlets of Cheshire and Derbyshire must have been wringing their hands with glee.
That said, I was immensely relieved and proud of C’s shopping. She bought the first dress that she tried on and the first pair of shoes – although the shoe shopping was spread over two weekends and two venues due to the lack of availability of her size (pixie) at the first emporium. Normally, I would have been dragged around half of the shops in the city over a period of three or four weekends. Even C’s trips to the hairdresser, pedicure, and leg waxer seemed to go smoothly. And, she looked gorgeous.
I was also kitted out with a new linen suit and shirt. I washed my hair and I had a shave. I’m worth it.
The planning for the after-church party seemed to be a little more hectic and frantic. No doubt this was due to my mother-in-law’s desire to relieve her daughter of as much of the burden as possible, with her having her hands tied somewhat with taking care of the baby. I am sure that it had nothing at all to do with inter-family rivalry and the need to be seen to put on a good show 😉
Consequently, the Waitrose Entertaining range was exhausted, and there was more than plenty to feed the twenty or so guests that went back to the house……and the entire population of the rest of the estate……..for at least a week or so. Whatever, at least the toffee meringue, apple pie and chocolate fudge cake that C and I provided seemed to go down well.
C and I had to ferry the desserts to the in-laws, where we got changed and met up with Debs (sister-in-law) and Smithy (partner) before making our way to the church. Smithy was also sporting a light-coloured linen suit (although his was hand-made in Bahrain, while mine was off-the-peg from John Lewis). Together we looked like Crockett and Tubbs out of the original Miami Vice. Or, to be precise, how Crockett and Tubbs might look in their early 40s. The similarity was further strengthened by the fact that we were both driving Audi TTs and had glamorous ladies on our arms.
Smithy and I were both feeling a little mischievous and anxious about the Catholic Mass ahead of the christening. But, neither of us were granted permission to go to the pub and catch up with them all later 😦
Fortunately the Church did not burst into flames as we entered. The floor of the aisle did not open up as we walked to our pews. The service was bereft of lightning bolts. The priest was friendly if a little camp. He pushed the boundaries somewhat talking about the romance and love affair between Jesus and Paul. He might not have been out of place in the American Anglican Church. Otherwise, he offered sufficient ritual and good humour to keep the audience/congregation interested/amused.
There were two baptisms on the day. Harry’s and Damien from the Omen. I kid not. He was quite a bit older than Harry and stomped and screamed and shouted through much of the ceremony. For the rest of the time he glared suspiciously around him with “that Damien look”. He was accompanied by two black dogs with red eyes at all times. I kid not.
Harry, in contrast, was angelic throughout. He was, of course, too young to be phased by the fact that he seemed to be dressed in a miniature judo outfit. He waved to his adoring fans at one point. Cute. He was suitably engrossed in the candle which was lit in his honour. I was the candle bearer and manfully carried on through the pain of the hot wax dripping through my fingers. And, he only cried when he was nearly half drowned by the priest. His hair was a mess after all that dunking and laying on and smearing of various oils. Poor chap.
C did a sterling job of the reading. She is not known as “the voice” for nothing.
Back at the party the two families suitably split apart – theirs inside (apart from the occasional smoker), ours outside, and the odd friend in between. My mother-in-law bridged the gap somewhat by sitting just inside the conservatory. But, she was sufficiently out of the way that she did not spot my father-in-law sneaking an extra glass of wine or two, and an extra slice of apple pie. As might be expected of several generations of teachers on both sides of the family, there was much reminiscing and explaining about whose elder brother or younger sister was taught by who. Everyone muddled along quite nicely. The drink and Abba’s Greatest Hits seemed to keep everyone in a reasonable mood. As the wine and beer began to flow, the accents of C and her sisters became positively more Glossop.
All in all though, it went swimmingly and was enjoyed by all.
And, I am looking forward to getting Harry his first drum kit, his first set of boxing gloves, his first pint…….oh the pressure of being a role model and moral compass…….
Good luck, Harry, you’ll need it.
Entry filed under: humour, middleman, Royston Vasey. Tags: abba, Add new tag, audi tt, baptism, candle, catholic church, christening, crockett, damien, Glossop, godchild, godfather, godmother, godson, Hadfield, John Lewis, miami vice, moral compass, mother-in-law, party planning, role model, Royston Vasey, shopping, sisters, the omen, the voice, tubbs, waitrose.