My boys were baptized today.
What will I remember?
The way they kind of tottered in that funny way they do when they walked up to get confirmed because they get embarrassed and shy when lots of people are watching them.
I'll remember sitting back behind them, watching them talk with their dad, cherishing the love that I witnessed between the three of them. Filled me with both joy and sadness, a kind of achy beauty.
I'll remember watching Grandpa, and listening to his voice, as he baptized them.
I'll remember the love I felt as we all gathered together afterwards -- at this strange time where we are kind of two separate entities at this point, but it didn't feel like two sides.
I'll remember Benji's wet head as he snuggled up next to me on the church pew.
I'll remember talking to the four boys from our ward who were baptized -- about campfires and the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost enlightens us in many ways, but I chose to focus on three for the children today.
They identified for me that a fire gives both warmth and light, two things I was hoping they would point out.
I talked about how the Holy Ghost is like a fire -- that He will bring light where there is darkness in your life. Those times when you don't know what the answer is or what decision to make or where to go or the moments (or years) you feel lost.
He also, like a fire, brings warmth -- those moments of peace, comfort, joy and love.
I also asked them, "What happens when you get too close to a fire?"
They responded that you get burned.
So then I said, "Okay, you're right, but what about before you actually get burned, but you're too close? What will happen?"
We talked about how you will become uncomfortable, and that this is also the Spirit's role. When you come too close to something that you shouldn't be doing, or if you are in a place that you shouldn't be, or going to make a choice that isn't a good one, the Spirit will allow you to feel uncomfortable.
I will remember the way that Carol Wilson, our Primary President, talked to the kids about seeing all the people that came to be there with them, on this special day. And then, quite emotional, she encouraged them to think of others, beyond the veil, who would be in attendance. I thought of my sweet Dad, and know he wouldn't have missed it for anything. The gospel truth is deep into his bones, and he loves these boys.
I'll think of my two sons -- flesh of my flesh and bone of my bone, fresh and clean, in their Sunday suits -- bright, energetic, happy.
I will think about going to dinner with my boys last night.
It is hardly ever just me and them, alone.
We got to talk about why baptism is important, about it being their first covenant they are making with God.
We talked about making mistakes -- about how I make lots of mistakes every single day.
But then -- and I rejoice in this -- because God knew that, He provided the Savior for all of us, and we ask for repentance, every day, as we review the day and we try to do better.
We talked about working to create your own relationship with God.
Just tonight, after I had gotten really mad at them (yup -- mistakes every day -- right here!), I went into my room for a little bit, and I was so irritated. Then, I went back to their room and Benji was still awake. I sat down and rubbed his head and told him I was sorry for losing my temper and that I loved him. And he said, "I just said my prayers, Mom, and I asked to be forgiven for not listening."
I was proud of him.
If I could count the ways that I am not very good at listening, sometimes, to what I know in my heart, it would be a very long list.
But I suppose that I can say that I'm trying.
I hope they see me trying.
And that I'm walking the same road that they are walking -- that we are all trying.
I hope they know how much I love them.
And when I talk with them about my faith -- and the gratitude I feel for the Savior and the gospel, I hope they know that it is in my heart.
That I hope that same light and conviction fills their hearts and minds one day, too.
And that, today,
I am so proud of them for the choice they made.