Home > Love, Parenting > Godparents: The Understanding Moment

Godparents: The Understanding Moment

Earlier this year, my younger sister wrote about choosing her children’s godparents. You’d have to read her post for the entire explanation about how she and her husband chose godparents, but a couple of sentences stood out in my heart long after I remembered Rache’s exact words:

So, remember, when you’re looking at the people you hold close, the people you spend the most time with, ask yourself – do they see the greatness within you? Are you able to be unapologetically YOU around them?

My husband and I chose one set of godparents when we had only Li’l D, and when my faith inclinations were different than they are now.

Things got more complicated after we had Littler J early last year. Anthony knew his godparent selection, but I disagreed. “They don’t represent my faith well!”

“Well, what is your faith, then?!” he’d ask.

“…,” I’d reply with a glare.

(“I attend the church of sunlight through trees!” my heart cried.)

We recently had pizza with the couple Anthony proposed be our children’s godparents.

I watched how their kids played with my kids, and I thought, “Now, isn’t that sweet?”

And then …

And then I went to the bathroom.

When I came back, my toddler rested on Mama B’s hip as she prepared a salad in the kitchen. She talked to him while she prepared, pausing to look him in the eyes and exchange a few loving words with him.

I choked back tears. My sister had described a whole involved dealio for selecting her children’s godparents, but for me, it came down to a look: the look in Mama B’s eyes as she gazed upon my little boy. I knew that look from my own godmother.

"There was remarkably little crying up until I saw my godmom. When she drove past, I didn't see her facial features clearly, but I knew it was her by the look of love on her face. Most of my crying that day had to do with her, in a really, really sweet way. She was there when I was born, through all the life events since, and the love emanates from her in a way I think you can see by looking at this picture. I could feel her and my mom in her, and having her there . . . it was little me and adult me all at once, all wrapped up in endless love."

Like this

I thought, without words, how faith didn’t really matter very much to me as long as my boys grew up knowing that love … and knowing it was the exact same love their birth mother had for them.

I told myself I’d tell Anthony about The Understanding Moment, but I forgot until this evening.

(I’ve started a new job. Starting a new job means all kinds of insurance talk.)

“I forgot to tell you,” I told Anthony tonight. “I saw Mama B with Littler J a few weeks ago, and I knew they were the ones. I just knew it. The only thing is, they need to develop a relationship with my family starting now.”

“That won’t be a problem at all,” he told me, and I knew he was right. “They’ve been ready to love our boys since before they met them.”

I believe my younger sister is also right: It’s imperative to surround yourself with people who see the greatness in you, and who love you exactly as you are.

But when it comes to selecting godparents, maybe, just maybe, a single look can tell you everything you need to know.

Categories: Love, Parenting Tags: , , ,
  1. December 21, 2015 at 6:03 pm

    I got a book a few years ago to “help prepare for after your gone”. I haven’t actually made a will or done the stuff in it…but it did say that as life changes its ok to change your plans. You can change your will..and your God parent selection. As your kids get older they may gravitate toward certain people. Right now, we want My brother and sister in law as god parents.is it possible that could change in the future. Yes…

  2. December 21, 2015 at 6:11 pm

    This was very touching Deborah. Happy holidays to you and your family!

  3. December 21, 2015 at 7:01 pm

    Beautiful post. So glad you found the right godparents 🙂

    • December 22, 2015 at 1:57 am

      Thank you! Me, too, all the more after Anthony told me about conversations they’d had long before the word “godparent” ever came up in conversation. (They’re the kind that make me pretty darn confident they’ll agree!)

      • December 22, 2015 at 10:02 am

        Oh that’s so sweet! I’m so glad they are so kind to Anthony 🙂

  4. December 21, 2015 at 7:20 pm

    Nice and sensitive post. Thanks to the Godparents.

  5. December 21, 2015 at 10:09 pm

    Love! ❤ And so happy you found this kind of love – I think godparents are so incredibly special…

  6. December 21, 2015 at 10:19 pm

    Lovely. For all concerned.

  7. December 21, 2015 at 10:59 pm


  8. December 22, 2015 at 4:05 am

    I didn’t gave godparents and since I don’t have any children of my own, this isn’t something that I’ve ever given much consideration to.
    Over the past few years trying to open up communication within the community I’ve realized how important it is for people to prepare for the “what-ifs.” Should I ever host another mortality-based discussion I’ll definitely bring up the subject of designating someone to parent the children left behind.

    • December 22, 2015 at 7:35 pm

      I remember the first time my “second mom” talked about the inevitability of her death. It felt terrible. I didn’t want her acknowledging it as a possibility, let alone a certainty. But her candor slowly changed the way I thought about such things, especially when I had my own kids. It’s a load off my heart to have made this decision, hoping I will be here for many decades but feeling at peace with the what-if just in case I am not.

  9. December 22, 2015 at 2:51 pm

    In the church my ex was raised in children have upwards to six godparents. Some are couples some are singles. Sometimes they are relatives, other times they are not. They are chosen for different reasons, different purposes and to add different dimensions to the child’s life. Often they are outside of the faith.

    I have always loved this tradition.

    I am glad you found the right ones! This was lovely and loving. Happy Holidays my dear friend.

    • December 22, 2015 at 7:37 pm

      Happy holidays to you, too! I love you.

      I remember thinking it was some kind of quaint tradition to have godparents. The older I’ve gotten, and the more I’ve seen what life can deal, the more I understand it is just as hard and earthy as it is weightless and loving. Hear, hear for godparents ready to rise to the task, should such rising prove necessary!

  1. December 22, 2015 at 6:34 pm
  2. December 26, 2015 at 2:13 am

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