(Photography by Julio S. Sandoval)
Last week, we baptized my gorgeous boy, Santiago. Ana, who is my son’s godmother, and her beautiful family came to Denver from LA for the celebration. It was a lovely ceremony and the party afterward was fun and totally relaxed. I cooked arroz con pollo!
Santiago wore a beautiful white guayabera his godfather brought from Mexicali. I was worried he’d cry or at least soltar un chillido when the water was poured on him. Instead, he smiled angelically. It was beautiful.
The baptism took place in the same church his sister Vanessa was baptized in about 4 1/2 years ago. The ceremony was held in Spanish. (I think I might have mentioned that I only pray in Spanish). I love the church because, unlike more modern buildings, it reminds me of churches in my country.
I was feeling kind of bad that we waited this long to baptize Santiago. For the majority of Catholics, baptism is a sacrament that occurs right after a child is born. Santiago turned 19 months a couple of days before his baptism. But the truth is that it took us a while to decide on a godfather. I don’t know if this is only true of the Latino culture, but for us, baptizing a child is more than a religious ceremony. It also has to do with a bit of tradition and customs. Godparents become our compadres and comadres and, in our family’s case, we choose them because we see them as the people we’d trust with our niño’s life con los ojos cerrados.
Both the padrino and the madrina we chose as Santiago’s godparents are those kind of people. After I realized I was pregnant for the second time, I knew right away that I wanted Ana to be my child’s godmother. We’ve know each other since college, more than 17 years and counting. And, while we haven’t really lived in the same city for a very, very long time, our friendship has never wavered.
Our labor of love, SpanglishBaby, has only continued to solidify our friendship. I’m honored that she accepted to be my son’s madrina.