So you’ve heard about Aunt Brookie and her fab three kiddos on this here blog, but I haven’t mentioned that I’m their godmother (the kiddos, not Aunt Brookie.). On an every day basis, this means acting less like a jerk than usual, but this year, the oldest (Bub) is going through an important church event, so I’m all consumed with how to be the best darn godmother ever.
My goal is to support Bub in his journey in faith, and, to do that, I’m trying to map out exactly what my role is. I know there are 14,000 websites that tell me the EXACTLY CORRECT ROLE OF THE GODMOTHER IN EVERY RELIGION KNOWN TO MAN, but as long as I’m adhering to the general rules of godparenting in our church, I’m not so concerned about the “what I’m supposed to be doing” as the “what’s important to our family, and how we can share and grow and learn together in our faith” part of things.
There’s the obvious: I need to share and be open (and knowledgable) about our religion. I need to agree on the values held not only by our church but also by his parents so that we present a united front on the who and how and what and why and all those other logistical components of raising a child in a religion. And I need to understand that this is his journey and be focused, respectful and supportive of his choices, and let him know how proud I am that he’s developing his own ideas about faith and his relationship with God.
What else? Being godmother means being a role model, in faith and life. It’s being the kind of person I perceive God wants us to be: kind, compassionate, always putting others first, sharing what we have with those less fortunate and remembering our blessings. In this sense, I’m lucky, because Bub inspires me to be those things, anyway. He’s an exceptional kid, and I’m not just referring to the fact he can build the death star out of duck tape, chewing gum and his sisters’ toothbrushes, and then use it to rescue the neighbor’s kitten from a tree. He’s one of the most thoughtful and helpful people I know (and he’s SEVEN, y’all), a kid to whom doing the right thing comes naturally. Actually, as I write this, I realize he’s kind of my hero. Which is a pretty big accomplishment since that list includes Winston Churchill, Jason Bourne and the founder of Chik-Fil-A.
Being Bub’s godmother also means I get to share some really special parts of his life (this is an “I” paragraph. At least it’s less than 700 words, okay?). I get the singular privilege of watching an already exceptionally thoughtful and intelligent child apply his empathy and intellect to our faith, and see how it changes him and how he changes it. Actually, I get to do more than watch. I have the privilege of sharing that journey with him. I get to be there when he has questions or thoughts or just wants to sit and watch the stars or the wind blow or his sisters playing, and marvel at the gifts God has given us.
Being a godmother to Bub means helping him understand that we’re always with him but even more so, God is always with him. It’s helping him not be uncomfortable talking about God (like his godmother), and understand how special and lucky we are to be part of a global community of faith. It’s helping him see that he can always depend on (in order of importance), God, J.C. and associated cronies, his faith, his parents and sisters and family, and me as his godmother. It’s remembering how lucky we are to walk in God’s light and that our actions and not just our words represent that, and that we’re blessed to have not a particular tangible thing, but each other.
I’ll admit something else, internet peeps, that makes me nervous. See, I’ve always been cool Aunt Su-Su, and it’s important to me to remain cool Aunt Su-Su. This is not because I think he’s going to need someone to buy him beer when he’s seventeen and wants to look good in front of his friends (really, A.B. I promise), or because I’m so desperately clinging to the last three people in the world who still think I’m cool (which, of course, I am). This is because growing up, I never had an adult outside of my parents to whom I could talk (this is not a criticism of my parents, btw, who are in fact AWESOME). But boy howdy, could I have occasionally used a place to go or a shoulder to cry on or a logical engineer who could set me back on the straight and narrow AND show me how to build that damn toothpick bridge for physics. And so, in a really wordy way, I want to be cool Aunt-Su-Su because it is vitally important for me to continue having such a close relationship with Bub and the other two smushies up in A.B.’s ‘hood, so that they always have someone to go to, cry with, laugh with, play with, build bridges with (literally and metaphorically) – in short, so they always have that one extra person they can depend on and trust in and know will always love them and believe in them. Their godmother.
Love that boy. The hair much less. HEY IT WAS 2004 YO.
Love – Aunt Su-Su