Friday, August 29, 2008
Compadre & Comadre
The Watson family has honoured the Peron family by asking Mark and I to be godparents to their newest addition, little Ella. As touched as we were to be asked, Mark and I were hesitant seeing as we are not really devout religious people. We do like to think of ourselves though, as moral people. Loving people. People who have good values to teach wee little tykes. And we have so much love we would be excited to spill upon Miss Watson.
Despite our inadequacies in the pious department, the Watsons accepted our acceptance of their proposal for us to be godfolks. And as my excitement as neutralized to a more moderate level, my technical side has kicked in and I find myself wondering what a godparent does.
I imagine a godparent is like a bonus aunt and uncle. You know how you don't get to pick your own family? (And therefore, you don't get to pick who will Uncle and Aunt your children). You do get to pick your friends and so, we are like a chosen aunt and uncle. How exciting to be chosen! And I think this means we can send lots of presents around holidays and birthdays. This also means that we go to the breaking-in ceremony of godparents which takes place in a church and is called a baptism. We say vows that mean we are totally committed to co-parenting Ella. And she gets a little water dripped on her forehead.
Now, we are game for taking care of Ella if Hil and Chris kick the bucket, but Hil says we need only be back-ups as they've already got some people signed up for that role. But I think that godparenting must mean being a moral barometer for Ella, teaching her what we feel are good and bad things to do. (i.e. Loving all god's creatures is good; Sling-shotting squirrels in beech nut trees is bad). I think we tell her she can do anything she sets her mind to and we help her achieve her goals (like by helping her with science fair projects and giving her lots of educational books and making her watch a lot of Canadian-content television instead of less wholesome American crap). I think being a godparent means I teach her the secret language of Melilary when she is old enough to truly appreciate that Bom Est Nullum. It means that if she wants to take up running slow but long distances, I can train with her and I can go cheer her on at her races. And if she decides to start a record collection, Mark can teach her what is and is not good music.
Despite all my own interpretations, I did take a moment to consult the largest, free, on-line Encyclopedia and according to the wisdom of Wikiworld, in a non-religious sense, a godparent is a co-parent. In Spanish or Portugese, a godmother is comadre and a godfather is compadre which mean co-mother and co-father respectively. I like that. It sums it all up. We'll co-parent Ella.
And if she can't find the right dress to wear to the ball, I'll whip out my wand and work my magic.