Monday, November 10, 2008

On Godmotherhood

A few years ago, I walked in on a coworker who was in the midst of a very heated telephone conversation. She was obviously annoyed and ended the conversation with, "Congratulations on the new baby. But I will NOT be a godmother to any of your kids again." Then she slammed down the phone.

I was going to pretend I hadn't heard a thing, but "Denise" started to complain to me about how all of her friends kept having babies, then making her the godmother, presumably, because she had a good job and was making good money. She mentioned how she only heard from certain friends until the kids' birthday, Christmas, Easter, or other holidays. Then, the friend never called to chat, they only wanted to know what gifts Denise would be buying for the kid. Some friends didn't even officially ask Denise to be the godmother. They'd wait until something big came up -- like the kid got the honor roll -- then ask Denise why she hadn't sent the kid any money. "I tell all my friends, 'please do NOT make me a godmother ever again,'" Denise had said. "It's too stressful."

But I couldn't relate to any of the things Denise was saying. Very few of my friends had children at the time and the ones who did didn't approach me about being a godmother. Unlike Denise, I wanted that title. I thought it would be kind of cool to be the hip person in the kids' life, the one that would let s/he eat candy, take the kid shopping or get its ears pierced. I could have a ton of fun with said kid and then send it right on back to its parents. Good stuff.

One of my friends had a baby a few months ago. I went to the baby shower, sent a gift and even saw her new daughter when she came home from the hospital. Cute baby. Mom seemed happy and I thought my work was done. But shortly after that the Mom surprised me a bit by asking me to be the godmother. I was taken aback, because even though the Mom and I have known each other for years, we've had our moments and we even struggle to keep in touch these days. All the drama is in the past now, but I wasn't sure if we had moved forward enough for me to be the godmother. But I guess we had.

So, I told her I'd be honored to take the title. Now I'm waiting for information about the christening and I have added the baby to my Christmas shopping list. I can't wait until the kid is old enough that I can take her out with me, and I can use her as an excuse to do kid stuff (i.e. see "High School Musical 3", "Wall-E", etc). So far, so good.


NaySue said...

Godmothers are only around/important in the early years. How many 30 year olds do you hear talking about their Godmother. Maybe I don't know what I'm talking about.

You better shop for your gift on eBay and Amazon used!

A said...

In my culture, we don't have the Godmother thing, but my sister asked me a few years ago if she could put me as the guardian of her kids if God-forbid, anything happened to her and her husband. I too was taken aback. I hadn't thought of such a grim scenario and wasn't heartened by it. So taking joy in being so trusted was linked with the double thought that it would mean not having my sister in my life any more. So I think the prospect of 'Godmother-hood' is so wonderful. You get to experience that closeness & trust without the grim scenario. So kudos & congrats to you!