Monday, January 4, 2010

Not-so-quiet Voice

I spent Saturday morning at the Salt Lake Library doing a photo shoot with one of my brothers and his family. That meant that Utah Dad was in charge of getting all five kids dressed and ready for our nephew's baptism. To help the process, I laid out clothes for each one on the couch in the loft before I left. I arrived home twenty minutes before we needed to leave for the baptism to find Utah Dad still in his pajamas and cuddling a screaming baby girl. Apparently they had some issues about getting some chubby frog legs in tights.

Amberly had helped Thomas get dressed and he was wearing a pair of flood slacks, a short sleeve dark blue and green plaid shirt and a mint green sweater vest. She was so proud of her sweet service that for a moment I considered letting him go to the baptism wearing the odd outfit. I thanked her and then changed him into clothes that fit and matched.

Utah Dad hurried to get ready and we were in the car and on out way with plenty of time. On the way, we tried to get into the proper spirit by remembering Neal's own baptism in July and talking about how important it is to get baptized. Thomas was especially excited and talked about how he would get baptized when he turned eight.

And then we got lost. We set out with only the verbal instructions to my brother's stake center. They were inadequate. Utah Dad wandered around the neighborhood streets while the kids looked for steeples and I tried to call my siblings on their cell phones. They had already properly turned them off because they were in a church. Fortunately one brother called to see where we were and helped us find the right church (we found a few other wrong churches in our search). My dad met us at the car to help carry in little children and we walked in just in time.

We found some empty seats in the middle and settled down to enjoy the meeting. I had forgotten that my sister-in-law had asked me to lead the music and had forgotten to bring my own Primary Song Book. I tripped over kids on my way to the front and then led the song whose words I couldn't remember.

After the talk on baptism, my brother and his son left the room and all the many children (cousins) gathered at the front of the baptismal font to watch. Thomas started his commentary in a not-even-close-to-church voice. "Wow! Look at the water! Here comes J---. Look there's Uncle N---." I hurried to the front to pull him from the crowd of kids. After a scolding, he promised to be quiet and I let him return.

But he still wasn't reverent. The baptism began and he continued. "I can see myself in the mirror! Look at the water!" I grabbed him again and headed out of the room. Of course, I was on the far side from the exit. On the way around the back of the crowded room, I had my hand (lightly) over Thomas's mouth as he continued to shout, "You made me miss it! You made me miss it!"

Once outside the room, he was punished and made to sit quietly with his arms folded while I attempted to explain his infraction. He just insisted that I had made him miss the baptism that he had really really wanted to see.

Afterward, I apologized profusely to my brother and nephew, who thankfully were focused on the baptism and didn't really notice the extra noise. My brother and my dad helped Utah Dad calm down and we enjoyed a lovely afternoon eating and visiting with my extended family.

And since then, we've been practicing his "quiet voice" with Thomas. Hopefully the next time our family has a baptism (in a year and half when Amberly turns eight), Thomas will not have to miss it.