Neva asked a good question about godparents, and specifically how we see Lucy’s godparents given that we don’t adhere to any specific religion (and my own relationship with any Church is, to be mild, somewhat fraught). I suppose the answer lies in the same reason we go to Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve; we like to pick and choose what part of the ritual and canon we have for our own lives.
For me, I just like the sound of “godfather” and “godmother,” especially since I didn’t have either. I liked the idea of being a teenager and getting to steal a weekend away with “my cool godmother,” so we set about to make sure Lucy had those options in spades.
Being magnanimous completists, that meant we wanted about 40 godparents for Lucy. If you think you might have been one of them, I guarantee you were. We managed to whittle it down to four, from all vastly different walks of life. Straight man, straight woman, gay man, gay woman, all with distinctly different philosophies. None of them had kids of their own when Lucy was born (although, that has suddenly changed, excitedly!) and we’ve known them all for a combined fifty years.
I’ve never said who they were (and still won’t, although I gave one away already) because I felt it might be taken as a slight to other old friends. The truth is, Lucy is a big character and will probably make you her godparent eventually anyway. Her extended family of uncles and aunts is formidable – besides, we’ve been tossing around the idea of perhaps one day having more kids, and obviously we’ll need more godparents.
But as for the role specifically, we just wanted someone who could show them the world reflected in a slightly different prism. This I know: one godparent is married to a priest and will give her the best birthday presents for fifty years. Another will take her on her first whirlwind jaunt through the East Village. Another, with her lovely wife, will teach her how to surf – and the fourth will send her postcards from the Seychelles, the Maldives, and Madison, New Jersey. If that isn’t spiritual guidance, then I don’t know what is.