April 13, 2015
The reason people need to take a vacation when they get back from vacation is because of weekends like this past one. It was full of good things. Which means it was full. All good things. But still full.
Saturday began with Anna’s naming ceremony. Or baptism. That word works, too. It was small and simple. Just the family in the music room. We began with “Morning has Broken”. Then Emily read A. A. Milne’s “Timothy Tim”, and Felicity played Brahms’s “Lullaby” on her violin. My dad annointed Anna with water and read the Catholic rite of baptism. Then my mom annointed her with oil. Last year’s chrism. Or as someone in the family called it “expired holy oil”. Her baptismal candle was lit from mine. Everyone welcomed her into the family and the world. In honor of Uncle Ed (who was, of course, named Francis), we read the Prayer of St. Francis. (Okay, it’s also one of my favorite prayers.) And then we sang John Denver’s “For Baby” along with Mary Travers because, really, is there any other recording worth mentioning? Anna wore my christening gown, which Sofia also wore. The ceremony was nice. It was right. It was church.
And then some old friends came for lunch. We’ve been friends with Natalie and Brigitte for ages. (And with Natalie’s husband, Mike, almost as long — him since high school.) It just happened that they both moved to the D.C. area, too. I can’t remember how long it’s been since I saw them in person. (You may recall a while back when my brother FaceTimed me on Twelfth Night and there were a variety of people calling in to the party via various webcam formats. That would be Natalie and Brigitte’s family with whom we used to celebrate Twelfth Night every year.) It was lovely to catch up. We just sat and talked (and ate, of course).
And that was Saturday.
Sunday was taken up with family portraits. If you’re wondering how they get those sweet infant photos, well, I now know. You take as long as you need. Chelsea is a family friend who also happens to be an excellent photographer. (Yes, my parents paid her. And told her to let them know if the check wasn’t written for a big enough amount.) She took a couple of photos of the entire family before focusing in on Anna. There will be pictures of me and Anna with her wearing my old sunbonnet. And there will be pictures of Anna wearing her christening gown.* And then, of course, there will be naked baby pictures. I’m really looking forward to seeing these. She took most of them while standing on a chair, so the perspective I was seeing was different than what the pictures will be. In some of them, we draped my grandma’s wedding veil over her.** The effect was beautiful. I can’t wait to see the edited version with the professional’s eye. This took most of the morning and a chunk of the afternoon.
It was a busy weekend. Full of good things. And I’m happy to be back to the quieter pace today.
*I never thought my performance as the bottom half of Fruma Sarah in Fiddler on the Roof would be good training for being an infant photographer’s assistant. You know those creepy Victorian photos of people “hidden” by a sheet and holding the baby? Well, the christnening gown photos worked on the same principle. Except I was actually hidden. And if I hadn’t been, Chelsea would be able to photoshop me out of the pictures.
**My mom also wore this veil. And I wore it for the naming ceremony on Saturday. This was the grandmother after which Anna was named.