Today my two boys were baptised at Wavell Heights Uniting Church.
Myles has not had much exposure to religion, except for perhaps some disparaging comments from me from time to time – which made me quite anxious if there’d be any embarrassing moments.
A fortnight ago Myles and I visited the reverend in her office to organise things. Myles was quick to grab a book from her bookshelf and ask questions. The reverend answered his questions well. She’s clearly worked with kids before. But perhaps something she wasn’t expecting was Myles matter-of-factly saying he doesn’t know anything about the Jesus guy she mentioned. She had a perfect answer, saying that’s what getting baptised is all about.
Today was the day of the service, and I’m glad to report it went well. We were off to an interesting start when we gave him some change to donate to the offering when the bowl went around. But that would take too long, so as we walked into the church he ran straight up to the minister and tried to give it to her.
Among his more interesting questions were why Jesus wore sandles all the time, and if he could use his Baptism candle to hunt for cane toads.
He’s a big fan of the Blues Brother’s movie, which has a scene in a church complete with an African-American choir and James Brown as the evangelical minister. I’m glad Myles didn’t appear disappointed like I feared. During a hymn or two though, his foot started tapping like he was about to embark on a full dance number. But we managed to distract him. I nearly couldn’t hold back the laughter when my brother – the godfather for the day – started making the sound of The Crazy Frog at the time. (Very worryingly, Myles has started copying the antics of the said frog which is essentially him naked, jumping forwards pretending to ride an invisibly motorbike while singing the annoying song. As I said, very worrying. It’s quite funny also, but we try not to encourage him.)
It seems the Baptism has certainly worked. Myles received a present of Thomas the Tank Engine flash cards from one of friends. Tonight he read them to us, and instead of citing the individual words that appeared ont he cards, he said they were God stories. Each separate card he’d pull out of the pack, and recite the alleged God story, which all made mention of the spirit. Even that the spirit was dead. No matter what the stories were, he recited each with a sort of quiet yet stoic voice. Perhaps this is the start of a career quite different to the police car/train driver, or the paleontologist.