American in Spain

Ian's Baptism

June 10, 2013
Mother and Child

We baptized Ian this past Sunday, June 9, 2013. Personally, I don't believe that splashing some water on a baby means anything at all, but some people I care about do, so I was happy to participate, especially since it meant having a big party to celebrate the birth of my son, something I do feel very happy and celebratory about. It was the very first mass I've attended in the town church that has been ringing its bells next to my house for the past eight years. First we went to a meeting the night before where an assistant of the priest (the priest was busy) ran us through the script of what would be said and what we were supposed to respond. My father, who would be anointed as Ian's Godfather, even learned to say "Estamos dispuestos" (We are willing) to respond to the question of whether or not he and my mother-in-law accepted their role as godparents. We were informed that it was important to speak up and respond to each question, but when the time came, the priest accepted some mumbling from the Americans involved.

The baptism was quick and painless, only about 9 minutes of the half-hour mass. It felt like it was time to sit back down just as soon as we got up to the front of the church. Ian was the only baptize-ee that day. The rest of the service was quite pleasant, a lot of it filled with some good guitar music and singing.

After church we headed out to a bar, but there were twenty of us in our group, and just getting the drink orders taken and handed out took up most of our boozing time before we had to get in our cars and head to Laredo to park and have lunch. The weather was nasty, windy and drizzly, all day, but it let up for the important times when we had to all walk from the car to the restaurant and then back again several hours later.

We chose El Curro as our venue, a favorite from the Semana del Pincho and other outings. The name always cracks me up because it's a slang for "work", as in "Well, I've got to go to…" or the answer to, "Where have you been all this time?" Their offering was reasonably priced. Unlike Spanish weddings, where each guest supplies some money to cover the cost of the meal, Spanish baptism meals are paid for entirely by the parents. The restaurant gave us an entire dining room with a long table and sofa all to ourselves. It was perfect!

Both Nora and Ian were very well behaved throughout the day, being doted upon by aunts that rarely get to see them.

Ian's Baptism

They gave me a candle for some reason. The "Light of Christ" or some such metaphor…except then we were instructed to extinguish it, so I didn't really understand.

Ian's Baptism

My wife, her parents and I are one of the instances in which a parabola appears in Nature.

Ian's Baptism

Ian with his sister, parents and four grandparents.

Belén and Marga

Belén and Marga, beautiful sisters.

Loving Grandfather

Here they are four years ago at Nora's Baptism. Their grandfather is sorely missed, especially at such family gatherings.

Handsome Devil

The handsome devil in this portrait was so good looking I had to take a photograph of the work of art.

Nora and Alba

Nora played very well with her second cousin, Alba, whom she had never met.

Nora and Ian

Responsible big sister.

French Open Final

At some point someone turned on the all-Spaniard 2013 French Open final. Nadal beat Ferrer.

Drunk Clown

Okay, no more wine for that guy!

Mother and Child

Mother and babe, lit from above.

It was a wonderful day with good food, good wine, and good family.