I know, I said I wasn’t going to get a new dress for Easter because I have too many dresses as it is. I went looking for jeans this afternoon, mainly to figure out what size I’d need in a different brand, and instead I found an adorable dress (and that I need to find jeans with a really short inseam because I am SHORT). It was all I could do not to show my mom how cute this dress looked on me when I got home, but I thought ahead and realized that my mom would ask me where I would wear a dress like that. “To Easter vigil,” I would have said, and she would have replied, “What?”
My mom knows I go to church every Sunday morning for an hour, but I’m not sure if she knows I’m going to a Catholic church. I wasn’t raised in a religious home and I only went to church with friends once in a while when I was younger. My mom is of the mind that we can’t know for sure whether or not there is anything after this life is over (I would love to debate that with her but I would sound nuts – seriously), and I’m pretty sure she thinks that people who are really involved in church are either brainwashed or have nothing better to do with their time. And to add some context to my story, I should tell you that we aren’t close and we really only talk about something when it comes to making a decision, cleaning a house, or planning a road trip.
My mom has no idea I’m going to be baptized at Easter.
I’ve prayed about this for a long time, not as much as I should, but I’ve been waiting for the right moment to explain what’s going on. She and I aren’t very close or open, so this is really touchy ground. After the Rite of Election when I told her that we met at the cathedral that afternoon, she looked at me like I was crazy and asked why. I had two choices: say “because everyone in my class was recognized by the bishop today and oh, by the way, I’m being baptized Catholic at Easter” or shrug and say “it’s complicated, we just had to be there” and get out of the conversation.
So I was a coward and chose the latter. In lieu of a potential fight about becoming a religious nut, I basically said, “never mind, it’s not important” and went about my day.
What I have done to drop hints is become a little more intentionally careless about leaving stuff out. I have two rosaries, a St. Benedict medal, and a chaplet of St. Michael hanging on the headboard of my bed. I leave my most-prayed rosary out in the open instead of hiding it. I have way too many church bulletins left out on my desk and a calendar with saints’ feast days on it in my room. I wear my cross with a medal on the chain almost every day. I just… can’t come right out and say it, though.
One of the ladies I work with at the daycare is Catholic, and she asked me today if my mom was coming to Easter vigil for my baptism. I told her that my mom doesn’t even know I’m being baptized, and she asked if I planned to invite her. I honestly don’t know if I should. Being at a three hour long church service would really make her uncomfortable. I don’t want her to feel like she has to be there because I’m her kid. But at the same time, shouldn’t she know and have the option of being there if she wants to, because this is such a big thing? Or will she think I’m turning into a religious crazy person and come because she feels obligated and make me feel really uncomfortable?
I’ve ultimately decided that this is up to God, and it’s between me and him. If my mom needs to know, he’ll tell me and make a way. If not, then I won’t. It’ll just be my Catholic family there with me – my godmother, my best friend and sister in Christ, and a whole bunch of other awesome people.
To me, Easter vigil is about becoming part of God’s family. Like being adopted. I’m going to have a forever home, a forever family. I am so excited about celebrating that it’s ridiculous. You know heaven is going to explode into a party on Saturday night for us.
I just wish I knew what to tell my family here on earth.