We had a Blessing Ceremony for Maggie this weekend at the Unitarian Church. The building and grounds are so beautiful, and we had an amazing sunny day for the occasion.
Maggie's mama and grandma accidentally but completely coordinated outfits. If we ever need Team Tillman uniforms, Elaine and I are all set.
As lovely as the church was, and as gorgeous as the day was, Maggie's beauty commanded every eye.
My grandma Kay loaned us her christening gown for Maggie to use. It is from Grandma's christening, and it is almost one hundred years old. I really love the gown, which is long and ivory-colored and simply embroidered, and it was so special to be able to include a piece of our family's history in the ceremony.
And speaking of the ceremony ... it was, um, action-packed. We had Max's Blessing ceremony at the same church two years ago, and it was a very peaceful event. We had yet another opportunity on Saturday, however, to rediscover one of parenting's great truths: things are more complicated when you have more than one child. Max stood up with us during the ceremony, and he started out relatively calm.
In the middle of the ceremony, the minister puts a small amount of water on the baby's head. In this picture, you can see our minister moistening Maggie. Notice the following: I am holding Maggie, Ian is holding Max, and Max has suddenly become sharply interested in the proceedings. None of us know it yet, but Max is about to have a giant meltdown. Ready? 3 ... 2 ... 1 ...
Oh, look! Now I am holding Max and looking shell-shocked, while Ian holds a squirmy Maggie and the minister tries to restore order. In between these two pictures, Max suddenly wailed, "I DON'T WANT WATER ON MAGGIE'S HEAD NO NO NO I DON'T LIKE IT WATER ON MAGGIE!" and fell apart completely. He went and sat with my mum for a minute, but kept crying for me, and so that's how we finished the ceremony.
I held Max, Ian held Maggie, who decided to pass the time by playing peek-a-boo with the excess fabric in her gown, and Maggie was blessed with the melodious sound of Max sobbing piteously for a background. We are still not sure what caused Max to object so very strenuously to Maggie's moistening. He doesn't like getting his hair washed, and so maybe he felt protective of Maggie, or maybe (more likely) he was worried that he was next. I also sort of accidentally scheduled the ceremony for the middle of his nap time, so that may have been a factor, too. The minister did a good job of allowing us time to regroup, and of staying calm throughout the hullabaloo.
After all that, we obviously needed to rejuvenate our strength, so we went to Granny and Gramps' house and ate. And ate. And ate. There was a lot of food, and all of it was really good, so we kept eating for awhile.
And then we partied. Grandma Kay told Maggie some secrets.
Grandpa Phil and Max prepared for their circus audition. Working title of their act: Phil and his Amazing Blue Worm Boy!
Unable to compete very well with that act, the rest of us entertained ourselves as best as we could.
As the day progressed, it became not just sunny, not just warm, but HOT. Gramps busted out the hose for the kids. I thought that Maggie might be freaked out by the coldness and the squirtiness, but she loved it.
And Max, of course, is old friends with the hose, and renewed his love affair with enthusiasm.
Ian has long insisted that Maggie is unusually musical. I am not sure if this is true or not, being so unmusical myself that I have no way to judge, but it makes Ian happy to think that at least one of his genes squeaked through into Maggie's decidedly Chelsa-ish form. She is certainly an appreciative audience, at least.
We had a lovely day together, and even Max's meltdown was sort of nice (in retrospect), because it really emphasized the point of the blessing. We are welcoming Maggie into her family and into the world, and Maggie's world includes and incorporates Max. Look at her jolly little face. We are so overwhelmingly happy to have her.