Great- or Grand-Nephew Bertie (not sure of the correct terminology – he’s my niece’s son; come to think of it she’s my niece by marriage rather than blood, so that complicates it further: Grand-Nephew-in-Law? I quite fancy being a Grand-Uncle-in-Law) got christened on Sunday, in Jersey, and I was there. Something I don’t experience that often, so I thought I’d jot down a few notes, in no particular order, just for the record.
Bertie, who is five months old, is one of those people who will look at a situation, assess it and decide on the appropriate reaction, before actually reacting. Much like his mother. So he decided that all this talk, in an unfamiliar language, needed a bit of pepping up, and joined in. His father, who seemed a bit embarrassed by this, briefly took him off to see the church organ, which obviously made more sense than the Order of Service, and was a bit less boring.
The water-splashing-on-the-head bit, though, was obviously what he’d been expecting and looking forward to. I wish you could have seen Bertie’s face just after this when the vicar turned him right-way-up to face the congregation. Astonishment, delight, a tickle of resentment, even a wry raised eyebrow – I imagined I saw all of these. Who’s to say? I’ll ask him in ten years’ time. (No I won’t. But I thought he was thinking those thoughts.)
As part of the service, a relative gets to do a reading of their choice (subject presumably to divine approval). N announced her reading as “a poem you will probably know – ‘If’, by Rudyard Coupling – erm, Kipling.” She swore to me afterwards that it wasn’t deliberate, but I don’t believe her.