The Mum Network

Are you a Godparent? Do you know what your ‘job’ is?

Screen shot 2014-03-09 at 11.15.18 PMMy 9 year old son became a Godfather for the second time today to his beautiful little cousin. He was very proud of himself as were the entire family, it’s a big responsibility for a 9 year old.

It’s said, even if you don’t spend a lot of time with them throughout your life, you never forget who your Godparents are. It’s an important and often agonising task for parents and something they take very seriously. If you have been chosen as a Godparent, how much time and effort do you put into your Godchild? What does the role mean?

According to Wikipedia, where one gets all ones ‘facts’……

A godparent, in many denominations of Christianity, is someone who sponsors a child’s baptism. Today, the word godparent might not have explicitly religious overtones. The secular view of a godparent tends to be an individual chosen by the parents to take an interest in the child’s upbringing and personal development.

Good, well that’s sorted then. But Wikipedia doesn’t stop there. There is some very important information that you need to know:

  • In the year 530, marriage between a godfather and his goddaughter was outlawed (Woody Allan would have been screwed)
  • This continued until the 11th century and they extended it to the birth parents never being allowed to marry the spiritual parents or those directly related to them.

What I think this means is that if your spouse died (because you couldn’t divorce back then), you had better not choose hot ones or have had a crush on your kids Godparents or anyone related to them because marrying them was a big no no.

I was blessed with four Godparents. Sadly, two of them ended up in heaven well before they were supposed to get there.

One of my Godfathers, my uncle, died in a car accident when I was only months old but by all accounts, he was chosen for a very good reason.

The other Godfather was my cousin Geoff. To this day, one of the best blokes I’ve ever known. He tragically died in a plane crash 1999, in the Coolah Tops National Park in NSW, he was only 37 years old. The age I am now. No one in the world has made me feel as special as he did from the time I was born to when he died. He took his role as Godfather very seriously and as I got older we became great friends.

One day I’ll never forget, I was very young and very underage but back then I looked about 18. He took me to the pub where he worked, gave me my first beer(s) and took me home to my parents, drunk as a skunk and declared that he had taken me to the pub to “take care of my spiritual upbringing”. That’s the kind of Godparent you want!

My Godmother, who was Geoff’s sister, taught me how to cook. I was living in Kirribilli in the mid to late 90’s as a young 19 year old with NO IDEA about the world. She fortunately lived around the corner. We would meet up once a week where she taught me how to whip up green chicken curry, beef stir fry, lamb roasts and all sorts of recipes that I still use to this day. With Mum and Dad living 2 hours up the freeway, she became my other mother in those formative years.

My other Godmother, my Aunty, got me through an intensely personal and private time whilst holidaying with her and her family (by myself) in New Zealand as a 12 year old. Without her being there and understanding what I needed, I would have been a mess.

These are moments that Godparents should be there for their Godchild. Yes, of course spirituality is important especially if religion is part of your upbringing but the role of a Godparent can also be one where you create special ‘moments’ where your Godchild can reflect on that special part you played in their life.

It took me to get to 34 years old before I was trusted with one Godchild and another 3 years before I was lucky enough to be asked again. My Godchildren are beyond special to me, they’re my 6th and 7th children. My niece who has more attitude and spunk than any 3 year old girl I’ve known is amazing and I adore her for it. My beautiful little Godson is little Ciaran who was adopted by my cousin Lisa (who wrote her adoption story on The Mum Network earlier this week). Incredibly, Lisa is also the sister of my Godfather Geoff, the one who got me drunk….we’ve gone full circle.

Never one to miss an opportunity to buy diamonds, I’ve already convinced the Big Guy to buy me diamond rings that I have bequeathed to both of them and it’s my plan to ensure they have as many special memories as I do of my amazing Godparents.

Don’t forget your Godchild, you were chosen as Godparent for a reason.

What do you do with your Godchild to make them feel special?

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