Our Hazel girl chose to be baptized by her great grandpa Haight. We talked a lot with her about how the church (or any organization) can be used to desperately hurt people or it can be used as a powerful vehicle for good; essentially, the church doesn’t make us kind or good – our choices do.

            These rituals, ordinances, and covenants are always tricky for me even before, but especially after, our family practiced differing beliefs. I struggle to know what we should do. I get anxious. I want to teach our children to be Christlike, but I also see how much the church has hurt Steve (as well as many people I love) and I don’t want that for our kids . . . For me, Hazel’s baptism ended up being a beautiful celebration of her choice to try.

            I hope Hazel’s choices teach her. Baptism is just another choice compiled onto her pile of daily choices that come and go mostly forgotten. My hope is when she remembers her baptism, she remembers how many beautiful people showed up to love her. My hope is she will remember that her family let her choose and then loved her either way – our love is not dependent on “being right,” or “what is right;” our love just is.

            I hope Hazel remembers that this was one of many choices she will make in her life and that her confidence in herself and her ability to choose will grow when she practices choosing. I hope that she remembers her grandparents and great grandparents and realizes that the relationships we have with each other are where we practice our most important choices. I hope she remembers that her dad was there on the front row and her mom was standing on the wet steps both supporting her choice.