Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Let's inject something on the lighter side.

I enjoy our three little dogs partly because they are so childlike. It's almost like having babies and toddlers in the house again. I have some really outstanding memories from the early lives of my four children. I think all parents do.

I'll relate a particularly humorous incident involving my youngest daughter, Nancy, when she was about three.

My wife had a brother who had married into a Catholic family and converted to that religion. They had an infant son who was going to be baptized and we were invited to come with them to the Capistrano Mission for the baptism. Out of family loyalty, we went. For some reason I don't recall, Nancy was the only one of our children who accompanied us.

This was all very new to us so we were completely at sea as to the proceedings. When the time for the actual baptism arrived, the priest invited any family members who wanted to to join in. My wife and I looked at each other, and since I was curious, I decided, what the hey, lets go up there.

I don't recall all the ritual details, but his eminence used several objects during the ritual and every one he used ended up touching the baby. Curious, bright eyed little Nancy just loved her little cousin immensely and took it all in with wide-eyed wonder.

The time came during the rituals when the priest reached over and picked up a candle. Nancy's eyes opened wide, and she cried out, "He's gonna burn the baby!"

I was embarrassed and hilariously amused at the same time, alternating between wanting to crawl through a crack in the floor and bursting out laughing. I tried with everything in me to as quietly as possible reassure little Nancy that no such horror was going to happen.

Then she got indignant and in her childish innocent frankness, blurted out, "I hate this church!"

That was my first and only experience with Catholic ritual. To say it was hilariously memorable would be an understatement.

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