Recently, Adam and I attended a Baptism preparation class. While the class was a little (ok, a lot) dry and I knew most of what was being discussed, it did put some things in perspective for me.
I will be the first to admit that I get annoyed with screaming/crying/loud babies and children at Mass. I always question why they don't utilize the "cry room" at the back of the church in order to allow others to focus on the Mass. Without expecting it, the woman teaching the Baptism preparation class addressed this. She encouraged new parents to sit towards the front of the church and don't be ashamed by a child who is, in fact, being a child. They won't be the first who acts out, and they won't be the last. But, in the future, they will be more engaged and attentive because the parents gave them the opportunity to SEE what was happening. I never really thought about it that way and in the future I am going to try to be more patient. Plus, I am sure once I am one of "those" parents, I will gain much more of an understanding an appreciation for what they go through on a weekly basis.
Another topic discussed was why, we as Catholics, baptize our children at such a young age. There have been times where I have been challenged by this question and the answer is two-fold. While it is hard to believe that a sweet little baby could be anything but innocent, we believe they are still born with original sin and baptism allows them to be reborn as children of God. The common argument that is presented is that we are forcing them to do something they cannot comprehend or agree with and they haven't had that "born again" experience. Not only is the sacrament of baptism for the infant, but also for the parents, Godparents, and other family members. Baptism also serves as a symbol and a display showing "Yes, we are committed to raising this child in accordance with the beliefs and values of the Church." Additionally, the point has to be made that, if we don't give our a children an option of going to school, brushing their teeth, doing their homework, why should it be different when it comes to their spiritual upbringing?
One other layer to this is that when a child is older (and it depends on the parish the family belongs to) they will have an opportunity get confirmed. This is their opportunity to renew the baptism promises that their parents and Godparents made for them when they were infants. They are "confirming" what they believe in.
By no means does this serve as me "lecturing" others on what is right and wrong but simply explaining one more decision Adam and I are making on raising our child. As the title states, preparing for a baby goes beyond getting the nursery ready and childbirth prep classes but also making informed, important decisions which is why I feel I should share all aspects to preparing ourselves for parenthood.
We made the decision to baptize Baby C in Missouri for a variety of reasons. First, we don't anticipate being in Nebraska for very much longer so the church she is baptized in I want to have some meaning. We just don't feel as "connected" to this parish as we do in our old one in Missouri. Additionally, with the exception of Baptism, all of my sacraments were performed at St. Patrick's, Adam made the decision to become Catholic and was confirmed at that Parish, and we were married there. That parish has much more meaning to us than the one we belong to here.
Since we are coming from out of town and Adam is in school, and we have so many out of town family, we have already scheduled the baptism for the later part of October. We are fortunate to have so many people attending the baptism which shows we are truly blessed as a couple and she is truly blessed to be loved so much already by her family.
And, because I can, a 37 Week photo. I kind of despise how I look right now. It is next to a picture taken at 35 Weeks. Enjoy!