The child receiving the sacrament was about 14-months old. A small Hispanic boy with black curls like a halo, he waved to everyone over his godmother’s shoulder. He wore a white tuxedo. Yes, complete with bow tie, satin vest and tails. His fancy white shoes bludgeoned the hips of his godmother. He was adept at the old rigor mortis routine toddlers use for escape. I know what those shoes feel like on the hips and how tired arms get confining a squirming toddler. I pitied the godmother! When the priest tried to anoint him, his head swung to the side, the godmother tried to counter by turning back, boy countered the other direction, godmother this way, boy that way, back and forth until everyone was laughing. When it had been accomplished and he looked out at the congregation, he quickly perceived he was the star of the show. He grinned and waved.
When it was time to lay him back over the font, my husband whispered to me, “Oh boy, this is going to be good!” The shiny pair of tiny white shoes kicked the air frantically, and the favorite curse word of all toddlers rang out: “NO! NO!” He wiggled and squirmed, determined to make a getaway. Godmother held tight. When the ordeal was over, his very pregnant mother looked relieved, the godmother held her ground, and the boy still screamed “NO!” They settled back in the pew, and Mass continued. Suddenly, the little angel made his escape. Woo hoo, off and running up the aisle. Everyone laughed. Well, almost everyone. His parents didn’t. I rolled my eyes at my husband and confessed in his ear, “I have just learned the wisdom of infant baptism.”