This morning on the occasion of child #24 being christening in my late grandmother’s gown, I am contemplating original sin, baptism and human fallibility.
When you meet a newborn for the first time, you don’t necessarily think about the fact that this tiny new human is stained by the fall of man from God’s grace in the Garden of Eden. What you see is potential-will this tiny person grow up to be president? Or a scientist? Or something else good & wonderful to be proud of?
So maybe baptism is really about reminding us as a community of family and friends who surround a child (in whatever flavor of Christianity you may favor) that we are partially responsible for helping this child reach his or her potential. Any one of us can name a non-parent who guided/nurtured/inspired us to do better/more/good.
We are all human and fallible; we all make mistakes and sometimes they are doozies. But we can still help a child and maybe our failings are just the object lesson that forming adult needs to see what not to do.
So I blame my nonsensical musings on sweet baby Austin who is the 9th of his generation to wear the gown. The exponential growth is interesting. My grandmother and her brother wore the gown in 1907 & 1911. Then my Mom and her siblings, 1939, 1941, and 1946, but not their cousins. Then my generation with my brothers and all my cousins: 1961, 1963, 1965, 1967, 1974, 1974 (twin cousins!), 1978, 1980, 1981, and 1982. My brothers’ and my cousins’ children: 1988, 1993, 1995, 1997, 2005, 2010, and 2011.