So today we had Lily’s dedication. Except it was actually my husband and myself being dedicated in our parenting of Lily. The focus at our church is on the parents. A lot of child-rearing advice about in bookshops today is about child-centred parenting.
Here’s the original thought – empowering parents and nurturing them in their responsibilities, as a community. Up at the front, we looked out on a full congregation (and on a bank holiday half-term rainy weekend at that) standing to affirm our parenting and to encourage us. Wow. Their support was moving. Lily and her one-year old cousin waved to each other in the prayer, which was moving on a different level. The wonderful minister who dedicated us spilt some water on himself and the floor at the end, which I found theologically interesting, but kept my mouth shut. It rained heavily outside, so everyone got a little wet, which was meteorologically interesting but probably of no real theological significance.
This is what the service was for:
Thanksgiving to God for the life of mother and baby
Acknowledgement of God’s interest in the child
Seeking God’s blessing upon the family
Recognition of the parents’ responsibilities
Confession of the church’s responsibility to aid the parents by prayer and practical participation
After the service, which included interesting points about 10 shilling notes, searching for coins in the dark and a drama by Andy and Clare, we shared a large number of Sainsbury’s finest unhealthy chocolate snacks of the variety seen in staffrooms on teachers’ birthdays. They all went! We had some lovely presents from a lot of lovely people and spent the afternoon catering for eleven adults and two and a half children with various dietary and nutritional needs – all in the immediate family. (Dad decided he didn’t want just salad, which was lovely, especially as he brought sausages which were pretending to be healthy). Lily has another cousin due, which is very exciting, this time on her daddy’s side. It was a good time to catch up and see people, but as a result of all this I am now tired out.
Good thing I’m not signed up for any Baby Jumping today.