I Spoke Too Soon
When I said that I had the details for Val's baptism all squared away, I spoke too soon. There's a lot of shit I haven't wanted to explain here about what I wanted to do (baptise her at my 'home' church in Ohio, but since Ohio is kind of far away, it seemed easier to do it here) and how it's all working out. When I was pregnant, I had this vision of baptising Val at home, of hearing her name sung in this really sweet song they sing at all the baptisms. I held that vision close throughout the pregnancy, a promise of one very important reward after the physical work of carrying her and giving birth to her was over.
In a lot of ways, it was like my hopes for a drug-free labor. Something that kept me going through something very hard. So when Val arrived in her not so drug-free fashion, I realized that some things aren't worth holding onto, that they'll inevitably turn out differently than you wanted them to.
So I started calling churches here. Long story short, we're planning to do it at the catholic church on campus at school. It seriously looks like a Howard Johnson's from the 70's (yes, like the one Laverne and Shirley say they'll stay at in Greenland when they visit, a little snow-covered orange roof) but it's small, cozy and yes, liberal.
And the priest LOVES to do baptisms. Terrific. Except, for him, there's one catch. He does immersion baptisms, where the kid is nekkid and gets a dunking. Talk about not being in my plan AT ALL. So fine, I say great but start looking for another church that might prefer to do it the old fashioned way, with baby's clothes on.
I don't really have any luck finding another church who's willing to take us on without us having attended for a while. Fair enough, and yes, I'm a slacker when it comes to checking in with God so that's on me. I wind up back at the House Of Dunking. Only, since I'm not currently a student, I need permission from my 'home' church to do this elsewhere, and I need to take a baptism class at my home church.
Here's where the trouble starts. I talk to the priest at our neighborhood church, and explain the situation about Val having dos mommies. He only asks if I intend to raise her Catholic, I say yes, breathing a sigh of relief that Andrea's not with me to state her intentions on the subject. Fine, we're all set for the class, let's get this show on the road.
Except that today, TWO WEEKS AFTER I WENT IN TO TALK TO HIM, the home church priest calls to tell me that we can't take the class there. Because Val has dos mommies. If I were single, there would be no issue. But since our house is penis-free, we are Ineligible. But, he says, do what we were planning to do at the campus church, because "they're not Very Catholic anyway."
I'm waiting to hear back from Father Immersion, if there's a way around this. I wish I could blow it all off and say we don't need to baptise her Catholic, that I just don't care. But for reasons I can't quite put my finger on, I do care. A lot. So now we're sort of stuck and I'm very sad about the situation.
I get it that the church is not very forward thinking about many social 'issues' (if you consider my life an 'issue'), that it's got a lot of really backward policies and does some hurtful things to people (see above). But it's also my church, the church I was born into, raised in, the church that meant a whole lot to my Grandma, for whom Val was named. So to not baptise her in that church seems absolutely wrong to me.
But I really don't know what to do now. Except cry, sigh, roll my eyes and call the priest from my home church a pussy.