I’ve been thinking about and planning a Christening (in my head!) for Reuben since before he was born and yet, he still hasn’t been Christened! Mike and I are not regular church goers. I struggle with faith – I believe in good and bad, I believe in what all faiths have to teach us about being generous, caring, respectful, etc., something we all need reminding of*. But I do struggle with the God and Devil bit.
We both really wanted Reubs to be Baptised at the church we got married in, the church where my Dad was the vicar. We knew and cared about the people there and they cared about us (mainly by association) – it was the only church we felt a bond and connection. The problem was, the summer after we got married, my Dad moved to a new job. A heartbreaking journey for all involved, but one that was incredibly important for my Dad and has allowed him to finally finish his goal of the past 11 years – to finish writing his book (soon to be published!).
Now, it is not the done thing for an ex-vicar to disturb the peace, and my Dad was keen for us to find a new community and church to be part of. Enter the next hurdle…we’re thinking about moving. And, ‘thinking about’ (Mike looking for houses in all his spare time. An idle pass time, or so I thought) has swiftly turned to ‘actually, probably’ in the last week. So, previously it didn’t make sense to get Reuben Christened in our local church because if and when we move, we wouldn’t part of that community anymore.
The final and probably most daunting hurdle for me is Gabriella. She hasn’t been Christened. She’s asked about it though when we were talking about Reuben’s and I have a feeling she would probably like to be Christened too. So, do we sort this out for her in advance of Reuben’s so Reuben can still have his own special day? Or do we just go for it and have a big party?
If I’m being really honest, which is difficult in this circumstance because I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, the problem for me boils down to: Reuben is my son. Being a step mum has not always been easy but Gabriella is, for the most part, great and we love each other. However, for a long time I had to battle with jealousy and the sadness of having a constant reminder that your husband was in love with someone else, and sees or talks to them every day. All of this is fine now and I actually think the arrival of Reuben made it easier.
Now we do some things together, for example, we all got together for Gabriella’s ‘Disco Party’ a few weeks ago and it was easy. Fun even!
BUT this feels like the final step – everyone meeting each other from ALL the sides…
On the one hand there is still that lingering jealousy and as much as this is Reuben’s Day, it really is mine too. I carried him for 9 months and gave birth for a really long time!! I want to be the only ‘main mum’ there!
On the other hand, this is our opportunity to put everything behind us. To accept our situation for what it is and move forward as a single united front, celebrating the wonderful gifts that are Gabriella and Reuben. I’ve said it before – no, our situation isn’t always ideal but I think the better we can all get on with each other, the more settled and happy Gabriella and Reuben will be. it’s not good for Gabriella to ever feel that the people she loves can’t be included in something we are doing as a family. We are all her family. People (myself included) would just have to put their differences and any residual hurting aside and seize the opportunity to move on. To let it go.
Mike says that to me all the time when I get het up about something. Pisses me off even more but he’s right, you let it go, you feel better! Image courtesy of Teacups Too
How much happier would everyone be (unless it turned into something from Eastenders at Christmas!)? And, it seems that if I have learnt anything from Church, as mentioned above, this would be the ideal opportunity to act on it.
I guess I’m talking myself round but this is the way my head works – I have to verbalise things to make a decision!
What do you think? Is it time to bite the bullet? Get over my own feelings, start afresh as the modern family we are?
Thanks to Susan from Health, happiness and fitness for getting me to re-think about this and to Laura for writing to me already and pre-empting this post! Xx
* which reminds me that I need to find a local food bank – Gabriella and I went to the Harvest Festival with my Mum on Sunday (Mike sat in the car with a sleep Reuben throughout the whole service – he was happy house hunting!) and the message was clear that I need to get off my arse and start doing some for other people. Being generous and caring and respectful.