He watched with great intensity as I poured the water from a pitcher that his great-great-aunt had bought. It splashed and danced in his grandmother’s bowl, wetting the embroidered cloth that had belonged to his great-grandmother. I talked to him about the preciousness of water in a desert place and poured it for him to see from his grandmother’s pewter cups that would now belong to his mother. He listened and put his hands in the water. I prayed and so did he, and we watched each other as the words were spoken. His parents promised to raise him to be a loving and faithful person, one who would seek peace and justice, and his aunt and uncle, now godparents, promised to support his parents in this labor of a lifetime. And none of us needed to promise to love him because we already did.
And then I took him in my arms and put the water on his head and said the ancient words of Jesus. And the water dripped on his curls, and he was baptized. And we prayed again, and I held him close and I, too, was held close in that most holy moment. Then I took the oil and anointed him as a precious child of God. And he put his fingers in the tiny bowl and he anointed me. And we went around the room, and he anointed every person there. This little one, who is such a blessing, offered a blessing to all of us. And then we were all baptized -- with our own tears. And it was joy and grace and love, and You were there.