The day my sister told me she was pregnant, I caught up to what my eyes had seen without comprehending: "That's what’s different about her body.”
Her announcement arrived with a pained concession: “So...some vindication of your big-sister fears for me.” Yes.
And no. As the pregnancy unfolded I learned that at first she had decided that being a single-woman-in graduate school, orphaned and keeping an abusive boyfriend at bay, was reason not to give birth. But there she was saying yes—to the pledges and evidence of support from friends and family and to to the part of herself that wanted to be a mother.
Christia arrived, and soon after her mother asked if I would be her child’s godmother.
This year at Thanksgiving Christia told me that she and her husband were beginning to think about baptizing her 4-month-old daughter. “What is Baptism anyway?” she asked. And suddenly it was as if I was back 30 years...holding her in the community gathered around that fountain, singing the Prayer of St. Francis: “ Make me a channel of your peace.”
I remembered too that over the years as I’ve watched Christia grow, I’ve often thought how she embodies the prayer we had for her that day—the hopes we held for her as the water poured over her and the oil glistened on her little forehead in the light of the Easter candle and the taper decorated just for her.