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Sunday, 02 December 2012 12:05

Choosing a Sponsor

I was raised in a Protestant environment, so I do not profess to know anything about Catholic traditions. However, when I was a child I had a number of Catholic friends through whom I was introduced to the concept of 'Godparents'.  My understanding of these Godparents was that they were to be a lifelong relationship to the child as the child grows.  I understand that it is also faith-based, and the Godparents are chosen to help parents raise their children in their faith community and to teach them about their religious beliefs.  

I have always thought this was a really neat thing, especially after witnessing my friends' relationships with their Godparents and one friend even becoming a Godparent as a teenager.  Again, we are not Catholic, but I wanted to designate a similar sort of person - particularly where the Spiritual aspects are concerned - for my children also.

There was a period of my life where a woman in my life unwittingly became this person for me, and I don't know where I would be without her love for me, and guidance at that time.  I know that you can't force these kinds of relationships, but I also know that I was extremely blessed to have had her in my life, and I wanted to make sure that my children would have someone in their lives who COULD be this person for them.  I hope they never need it like I did, but if they do - I wanted someone to be willing to be there for them, because let's face it, when you're going through something rough you don't always want to talk to your parents about it.

When we chose this person for Clara - we weren't sure what exactly to call this relationship, a 'sponsor', a 'buddy', an 'honourary big sister' - we considered a number of different things.  The person we finally chose had all of this going for her:

  • Her spiritual beliefs we knew to be similar to ours, and she was someone who was active in our spiritual community. As Christians, we wanted someone who would be able to help us teach Clara about our faith in Jesus Christ, and to be an example of someone who was actively living for Him.
  • She was young enough to probably always be considered 'cooler' than we are, as well as energetic enough to keep up with and play with Clara as she grows. 
  • She possesses talents and strengths that we value - like being musical and artistic - as well as some strengths we lack - such as athleticism and an outgoing personality, so that Clara has an opportunity to potentially 'inherit' these strengths despite our shortcomings.
  • She had already demonstrated an interest in children, as well as a specific interest in Clara.  She had already proven to us that she will take the initiative to spend time with and get to know Clara.

I discussed all of this with my pastor when we made this decision, and because I wanted to include this person in our daughter's dedication ceremony at church, he asked me to create a written document to outline what this particular relationship would mean and what we expected from it.  I also included a list of things that this relationship might include over the years:

  • Regular meetings or get-togethers, times for them to play together, hang out and get to know each other better
  • Possibly being considered part of the extended family - invitations to special events such as Birthday parties and recitals, etc.
  • In case of the relationship becoming long-distance, regular communication including letters, cards and phone calls

Before Audrey was born, we started thinking about who this person would be for her.  We had two people chosen - male and female, depending on what the baby turned out to be.  When we found out we were having a girl, we approached another friend to again fill this role for our child.  She accepted, thankfully.  This new person also has all of the qualities listed above, as well as (this part just happened to be the case) being the younger of two extremely close sisters.  I'm excited to see Audrey's relationship with this girl grow - and I hope that someday Audrey's friendship with Clara is as close as my friends' is with her sister.

Read 1264 times Last modified on Sunday, 02 December 2012 21:01

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