Tuesday, August 29, 2006

a quandary

Yesterday we went to Shane's parents for a decadent breakfast-for-dinner meal, which was delicious but made me feel greasy. After dinner, his Dad asked us if it would be OK to have a naming/blessing ceremony for Molly at their LDS church. (I had already told them it would be fine to take her to church this coming Sunday.) I was extremely taken aback. I was afraid I reacted confrontationally, but Shane says I did fine. I grilled him a little bit on what would be said and done, and he satisfied me that this isn't dedicating her to the church and isn't a baptism or christening. I agreed to it, as did Shane, but I'm uncomfortable because I'm afraid this will be a first step in trying to persuade her to become a member as she's older, and I am not comfortable with Christian theology. I know admittedly very little about the Mormon church, but what I've observed is that women in the church have very little power. The blessing Dad-in-law wants to do is a circle of men, none of whom I'll know besides him, blessing Molly and giving her her name in a sort of formalized way.

Afterwards, I was talking through my worries with Shane, and I realized the biggest problem I have is that this will happen before the Unitarian church naming I've been very loosely daydreaming about. I wanted to include a variation on a Wiccan ritual called the five-fold kiss, which is a beautiful blessing. I decided Shane and I (or myself alone if Shane opts out) will have our own tiny ritual to name and bless her with some Goddess- and Earth-centered prayers before Sunday. Shane told me today, when I was still kind of twitchy about the whole deal, that what I'm really worried about is my own guilt about not holding circle in so long or going to church with Molly yet. I think he's right. It's so important to me for her to be brought up in the UU faith, but as always, my slacker ass isn't living up to my own ideals.

The real bottom line is it's important to his parents, and any blessing given in love is a beautiful gift. His father was diagnosed with cancer very recently, and we just lost his father's mom to cancer, so emotions are high and fragile right now. The in-laws are darling, sweet people and they mean well for Molly- they love her so preciously. We decided that this blessing isn't a ceremony we have any specific complaint with, so my gut-feeling-ickiness isn't worth upsetting them by changing my mind. Shane doesn't seem to care either way, but isn't going to the church for this. I'm going to look at it as an excuse for Molly to wear fancy baby clothes and look adorable, and for Papaw to give her a blessing.

I'll post some details about the Wiccan prayers I come up with and share that experience- I'm excited to do a little something magical:)

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