Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Mila's Baptism

A year ago today marks Mila's baptism. We did it while in Italy; it was such a sweet day surrounded by my family there. I would love to finally share some pictures.

Mila wore the same baptismal gown I did nearly 33 years ago. That is, gowns. Underneath she wore my father's baptismal gown, made by Nonna Mari. On top was Marmousch's, made by Nonna. That gown is 52 years old and Mila is the 8th person to wear it on her baptism day (Marmousch plus my aunt and three uncles, Lamb, and myself). Can you imagine? The talent in this family. If I could make something like that I'd be shouting it from the rooftops.

While we were dressing the child-bride our family started arriving so we could all walk over to church together. We were running late (of course) but that didn't stop everyone from coming in and presenting Mila with beautiful gifts. This girl already has quite the jewelry collection. Some of my favorites: an engraved crucifix pendant from her godparents-to-be, a guardian angel pendant from Simona and Nonna, and Marmousch gave Mila something from her childhood--a baby bracelet and with Mila's name added to the back so it reads Luisa on one side and Mila on the other. Gorgeous gorgeous heirlooms.

When we were finally ready we walked together to the church. Did I mention this was the first time we had all been reunited since Lamb's wedding? Mila was baptized in the same church Lamb and Adam were married in. It's the church Marmousch grew up going to, where Zio presided over, and you can see its bell tower from my grandparents' kitchen window, it is that close.

First we met with the priest to enter Mila's name into the ledger.

Then we went onto the altar for the baptism. It was private, just very close family present. Steve and I, holding Mila, stood at the foot of the altar with Lamb and Adam, whom we had asked to be godparents. Mila, who typically is was fine in church for short periods, was just not having it. I alternated between trying to distract her with my necklace and trying to dutifully read the baptismal rites from the book.

Getting baptismal water poured didn't help matters :)

And as the priest struggled to put her baptismal vest on I held my breath, since Wugs didn't enjoy getting clothes put on under even the best of circumstances. Sure enough, she howled. At the end of her rant, she said a crystal-clear MA-MA that echoed through the church. Both Lamb and the priest asked if that was the first time she said Mama (it wasn't, but still music to my ears anyway!).

After lighting the baptismal candle, the ceremony was over soon afterwards. Mila was now baptized! My treasured girl, so full of love to give. She really is nothing but joy, then and now. 

Tomorrow I'll try to post some pictures of the family lunch we had in celebration afterwards. I love seeing past photos of her, sombering to realize how much she's changed but yet wonderful to think of the amazing person she's become!

Half the people are talking. This is how all our Italy group shots come out. Note Steve's face.

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