Eli's baptism was a different experience. There were no family members there besides the six of us, so I was free of the pressures of being the hostess. And yet I still found myself feeling more stressed than spiritual, because I had to play the piano and I'm really not good at the piano.
In any case, once the piano part was over, I felt a profound sense of gratitude. I'm grateful for Eli, for his good heart and his desire to be like Christ. I'm grateful for the way his desire manifests itself in unselfish and thoughtful behaviors, and in his own gratitude for his blessings. I'm grateful that he was brave despite being the star of the show. And I'm grateful that he could share his baptism with Sariah, so he wasn't the ONLY star of the show.
I'm so grateful for our ward. They showed. up. And I don't just mean that they were at the building at the appointed time. I'm grateful for Jean Billy, who baked the amazing cakes. I'm grateful for Sonya who spent most of the day at the chapel, because the font takes four hours (!) to fill, and I'm almost positive she was the last one to leave. I'm grateful for Eli's primary teachers and leaders who spoke and prayed. I'm grateful for Georgia and her family for letting us be a part of Sariah's special day. I'm grateful for Bishop Chittock for his service and especially the love that emanates from that man. I'm grateful for my friend Keeley who made Eli a thoughtful gift. I'm grateful for Jane who lovingly designed a program. And I'm grateful for my other friends who couldn't make it but sent texts of support. I know there are others I will think of, and I will come back and add their names to this list.
It was definitely hard to have this experience away from family, especially grandpas and great-grandpas who could have stood in on Eli's confirmation. But it gave me an opportunity to feel truly loved by our London family, and by my Father in Heaven, who surely knows me. (Although, dear Father in Heaven, please send a pianist to our ward.)