A week ago this Sunday I went to the most beautiful Christening of the daughter of one of my best friends from University. I felt very proud and privileged to have been asked to be Godmother to this beautiful little girl.
I am also very fortunate that I am also Godmother to my best friends two children who are scrumdidliumptious!
But am I a good person to ask? How do I fulfil the criteria?
The saying yes bit is all very easy but what does it actually mean? What does it entail?
Believing in God is surely a good starting point. Well that is ok I am very confident in my faith and I have briefly talked about this before when discussing things I was grateful for but fundamentally I believe in a sense of good prevailing evil, helping others, living your life by a moral code of conduct of right and wrong and above all not hurting people physically or emotionally. I am not a top class student in any of these areas, indeed, I have got it wrong on many accounts but I hope that I learn from these errors to not cause that wrong doing again and apologise for my mistakes and be prepared to eat humble pie.
So what can I offer this little bundle of innocence? How does my role assist her future?
Traditionally, godparents were informally responsible for ensuring the child’s religious education was carried out, and for caring for the child should he/she be orphaned. This is not so much the case today as hopefully parents tend to live longer but also generally it is assumed if the awful situation occurred family would step in. (I like to think everyone in my family would want my children but for the record, if one of you is reading this…should we ever be wiped out, they are not to be split up…EVER!!)
I personally like to think of Godparenting as another ear, another place to go, a refuge. As parents we hope to do our best by our children but lets face it sometimes we get it very wrong. We jump to the wrong conclusions, we shout when we should be calm, we over react and say things we don’t mean. Being a parent does not make you inhuman or non-feeling. However the way I see it is, if my daughter or son runs out the house with the loud slamming of the door his or her Godparents are the ones I hope they will turn to.
I hope they get fed and watered and taken out from the chill. I hope they feel comforted and understood and then I hope and trust in the people I asked to be Godparents to be able to either
– get them to see Mummies point of view or
– have the courage to ring me and tell me I have been really out-of-order and in fact it is me that needs to apologise!
If they are able to do this with spiritual references then great but I want my children to find God in their own way. I want them to have access to all areas of knowledge and a respect for all faiths but mostly for them to come to their own conclusions. It has taken me to 29 to know how I feel and I still have questions and doubts.
My best friend is Godmother to my by my eldest and she buys bible stories for him quite frequently. BB really enjoys them. Both her and his other Godmother remember his christening date every year and always send a card which I think is a lovely touch at remembering what they agreed to do. Of course all my children’s godparents’ are in their lives all the time, that is why they were chosen.
I think the Godmother/father role is really valuable and it is important to us as a family, but other friends who don’t believe have had naming ceremony’s and again I think that is a perfect way to name people you love and trust to be a guardian in your little ones lives.
So what are you thoughts? Are you a Godparent? Do you value your role or have you forgotten all about it? I really would be interested to know.