That church, and its minister, the Rev. Timothy Haut, is as much a part of our family as any man or woman of God can be who weds your children, baptizes their babies and eulogizes your family and friends. The tableau standing before the gathering of the faithful was perfect. Pastor Haut, (in his long white robe), the mom, (my oldest daughter), the godmother, (my youngest daughter), the godfather, (a family friend), and little Sydney (our granddaughter), resting on the arm and shoulder of her dad, (our son-in-law).
Haut spoke, we used our phones for pictures, the baby was smiling and happy and not a fret was heard. Even when the water was dripped on her forehead, Sydney smiled. The congregation and guests emitted an "awe" in celebration of the wonderful moment.
The minister, as he often does during baptisms, took the baby gently in his arms and walked down the aisle to present her to the faithful - this was after she had removed his lapel microphone, twice, and proceeded to use it as a teething toy. Baby sounds filled the church. The congregation laughed, the minister chuckled. It was sweet but not quite YouTube worthy.
Once back to the altar he handed the baby to her mother, who replaced the mike with a favorite teething-toy, a soft giraffe made for tender gums. Sydney dropped the toy. My daughter looked to her sister to retrieve the little giraffe from the floor.
My youngest daughter, brilliant, beautiful and well over six feet tall in her new four inch high-heeled beige patient leather peep-toe platforms, is a prime example of someone who can trip over a piece of paper and spill the contents of an empty glass.
As she attempted to pivot and bend to reach the toy she forgot about the steep step behind the rail, it caught the edge of her high heel and in a Lucy and Ethel moment of flailing arms and legs, she toppled to the floor, out of sight, behind the velvet draped altar rail. The minister glanced her way, then back to the baby and continued his sermon without a moment's pause. A collective gasp rose above the crowd.
"Did she faint?" the old lady behind me asked.
Every kid-klutzy moment, of which I was aware, came to mind. I put my hand to my face as if clutching my jaw would stop my laughter.
My daughter's arm rose from behind the altar rail, then her head, and in a loud whisper she waved the giraffe and said, "I'm all right." The church bubbled with laughter.
Behind us, the aunts, uncles and especially the cousins were hunched over trying to contain themselves. Having observed my daughter's antics over the years it came as no surprise that if someone were to take a header during a church ritual, of which she was a part, it would be my youngest.
Nope you won't be replaying that little scene on YouTube, which I am sure would have gone viral but thank God, I said later, she wasn't holding the baby. Thank God indeed. Enough said.