I've relaxed a lot over the years, and the day of Joshua's baptism was proof. Because amid all the preparations for a baptism service, (us singing a musical number, a child giving a talk, change of underwear and towels, etc. etc.) , plus 40+ people converging at my house for dessert a few hours later, when I pulled out Joshua's white shirt from his closet and realized it was FILTHY, I... actually laughed out loud. (I may actually have said "damn-it" first, but I did laugh out loud. I promise.)
My toilets were clean for guests to use in a few hours, my sliding glass door wiped free of finger prints, and the kitchen floor swept of debris. But Joshua's shirt, that he hasn't even worn for two weeks (didn't go to church last week due to General Conference), was neglectfully left in his closet with nary a thought about it until 20 minutes before he was due at the church.
Luke was dressed in a brand new suit at his baptism, and of course the girls in perfectly new and clean white dresses at theirs. But not the poor 4th child. He wore a white shirt a size too small.
But I was more relaxed, calm and pleasant than at any of the others, and that's what really matters.
Joshua's baptism service was simple and beautiful.
As Latter-day Saints (Mormons), we believe that baptism is done at eight years of age because it is the age of accountability; the age of discerning between right and wrong. Baptism at age 8, isn't so much the symbolic "washing away of sins" (children under 8 don't "sin") as it is making a promise to follow Jesus, and the first step to returning to live with God and Jesus again.
Four of my children have now been baptized, and for some naive reason, I think my children are going to be so overcome with the baptism ordinance and commitment they are making, that they will be committed to never again disobey, or do wrong. You'd think I of all people would remember children are NOT PERFECT, but instead I seemed shocked somehow when just hours after Joshua's baptism, Drew came into the house to tattle, "Joshua just called me an idiot." (An absolute no-no in our house!)
Four kids, four burst bubbles: baptism doesn't equal perfection.
I looked at Drew and smiled and suggested, "Why don't you go outside to Joshua and say, 'Congratulations. You've just made your first mistake.'" To which Mike piped up, "Perhaps you could offer to help him repent?"
Maybe you had to be there.
But it was funny.
Saturday was a good day. As our home and yard were filled with family and friends that love Joshua and our family, I couldn't help but smile. These days are fleeting, and when I came across these little children sitting out on the step eating ice cream, I couldn't help but wish time would freeze for just a few moments. Instead it keeps marching forward and before I know it, these photos of young children will be only a memory.
They are only young once.
(Damon, Elizabeth, Miles, Drew, Jonah, Joshua)
This photo was taken the next day.
(Drew, Cousin Kate, Cousin Annie, and Joshua)
Life is good.