We found ourselves in quite the predicament right after Lydia turned seven and we started talking to her about baptism. Every time I would mention it she would well up in tears and say she did not want to be baptized. I just wanted to bundle her up in my arms and let her be a baby forever. She’s too young. She’s too sweet. I found myself thinking. What sins does she need to be forgiven from? She’s never done anything wrong in her life. I was not going to make my kid be baptized. My job is to teach and love and accept and encourage, but it was her decision to make. If she didn’t want to do it; I was not about to make her. The more we talked about it; the more upset she seemed to become. It wasn’t until months after she turned seven that she opened up and expressed how much she wanted to be baptized, but that she did not want anyone to watch her. Gotcha girlfriend. And a thousand times, ditto! It broke my heart that the anxiety and stress of a whole baptismal program with a ward and a half watching was making her so upset. Every baptism we have been to recently had lots of people there and Lydia was terrified to have a room full of people watch her do something so personal. I get it. Sometimes she is so much like me it’s scary. When it comes to spiritual things, things that are so personal and sacred to me, I have a hard time sharing. It’s so personal and intimate and I get so nervous in front of people that I feel that words are not adequate enough to express all the feelings. Plus, I’m a crier. . . an ugly crier. You don’t even want to know how many tears were shed while just discussing and planning her baptism. All the feels! Sometimes I think I feel too much. In October, a whole nine months before Lydia’s eighth birthday, Jared and I were out at a nice restaurant with live music and we started talking about her baptism. Bad idea. The waiter came over at one point to ask if I was okay. Ugly crying over her baptism that was nine months away. Bless my heart! It was such a huge milestone in her life and I don’t think I was emotionally prepared for that. I forgot to pack one of her three dresses that I had already bought her for her baptism when we went to Utah. We wanted to do her baptismal pictures out there. So I bought a fourth one. Sigh. But I ended up liking it better than two of the others I had bought. So I kept it and returned two of the others when we got home.
And these pictures. . . be still my heart! She is even sweeter than she looks and even more beautiful on the inside, if that is even possible.