Tuesday, January 8, 2008

The Godmother is Here

Lucas' godmother, or 'madrinha' as they are called (a much nicer word I think, it means 'little mother') arrived at our house and met Lucas for the first time. She brought presents and a friend. Lucas likes her just fine and she seems to like him even more.

For someone who was raised without religion, this whole godmother/baptism/church thing is pretty baffling. I never had godparents (actually I did, apparently, very briefly- but I don't even know who they are) and never felt like I was missing out on anything for the lack of them. However, here in Brazil they are a big deal and apparently everyone in Evani's family was waiting to see who would be chosen as the godparents- she snubbed them all by naming a friend who lives in another state and is entirely removed from the snarled interpersonal politics of her family and neighborhood. I guess I'm snubbing them all as well, and still, as I have yet to name a godfather, which is my responsibility. I have no freakin' idea who to name. Nobody around here, that's for sure. What's worse is that I have to get this worked out before Lucas can be baptized, which is another big deal, and will require that I take some kind of course or something and become at least an honorary Catholic or something of the like. I really don't know what's involved- I've heard it might be a five month course, or a one week course. Doesn't make a lot of sense to me as I'm going to remain nonreligious. I respect religion, and religions, and I'm okay with Lucas becoming a nominal Catholic by being baptized and all the rest, but I don't really want to be bothered with it.

Over dinner we recollected that we had all first met on my very first tumultuous visit to Brazil, when my relationship with Evani was at its most intense and agonizing. I had thought it was somewhat afterwards. Lucas' godmother and her friend got mugged at 8 in the morning at a tourist attraction, and we all met by attending a Candomblé - that much I remember. I remember a great many other things about that first trip here, in December of 2001...

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