(This blog entry describes the recent visit of our friend Kristen, as well as Rebecca’s baptism, two events that were scheduled to coincide.)
Saturday morning (Aug. 20) we awoke with a plan to meet our friend Kristen at Austin’s airport before lunch. However, in the first hitch of the weekend, Jet Blue wasn’t cooperating (not that Jet Blue is known for cooperating). Kristen’s flight was delayed more than three hours.
That gave us a little extra time to fiddle around the house. I cleaned a little, including vacuuming my car and washing some windows.
(9 images after the jump)
Eventually, we got word that Kristen’s plane was in the air, so we ate lunch and then headed south. Despite previous horrible experiences with traffic in Austin, we got to the airport without any trouble. The toll road (Highway 130) was almost empty of cars and took us from Georgetown almost to the airport. There was no trouble finding parking there.
Even after the three-hour delay in the flight’s start, the pilot apparently took his sweet time and Kristen’s plane arrived 30 minutes later than it should have, but she arrived safe and sound. Rebecca did very well during the wait in the terminal. She loves watching people.
And she took to Kristen immediately, climbing into her arms and resting her head on Kristen’s shoulder.
The trip back to Killeen was uneventful and the toll road was even emptier than before. At one point we drove for 15 minutes without seeing another car. Very strange.
Back at the house, Rebecca showed off a little for our guest, but mostly acted like she’d always known her.
That evening, after supper at Clem Mikeska’s BBQ in Harker Heights, Rebecca opened a few gifts from Kristen and her mother.
The next morning (Sunday, Aug. 21), the day of the baptism, the cake was delivered (my wife had ordered it from someone she heard about at work), and I bought fruit and vegetable platters at H-E-B while my wife and Kristen decorated a little. We didn’t go all out, but had a few balloons, table decorations, baptism napkins, and a couple of banners (one of which was misspelled).
We had an early lunch and then headed for St. Paul Chong Hasang Catholic Church in Harker Heights. We arrived 15 minutes early and so took several pictures outside, including this one:
When we walked up to the church door, a woman was locking it. She was surprised to hear that a baptism was scheduled for 12:30 p.m., but let us inside out of the hot sun while she went to find the priest. Within a minute or two, we saw the woman who’d taught our Baptism Preparation Class — the one who’d given us this date. She also said there was no baptism scheduled for that day.
I assured her we hadn’t gotten the date wrong; it’s my Dad’s birthday, something I wouldn’t forget. By that time, our only other guests (one of my wife’s coworkers and her daughter). She also said it was her father’s birthday and so had remembered the date when we first learned it two months ago. When asked if we’d called to confirm the date, my wife told the woman we had confirmed in person three weeks ago when we brought back the paperwork.
As it turns out, the church’s other secretary had taken our paperwork and then taken a leave of absence without adding the date to the calendar, and so everyone else had assumed no one was getting baptized on this day.
By that time the priest (Father Richard O’Rourke) showed up. He said he was about to leave because he was teaching a class in another town. Five hundred people were waiting on him. But then he said, “If you don’t mind rushing, we’ll baptize your beautiful baby right now.”
So he rushed off to get a robe and hurried back to start the ceremony. He read through the ritualistic words very quickly, sometimes not even waiting for the prescribed responses — it was fine by me; I wasn’t sure when to respond anyway.
Rebecca was good-natured and talkative while we waited, but as soon as the ceremony began, she started fussing, and then outright crying.
But she was indeed baptized in the Catholic tradition, as Rebecca Lisette Thérèse Fry, and Kristen became her Godmother.
Afterward, Father O’Rourke quickly posed for a picture with us and then left apologetically.
We returned home, followed by my wife’s coworker Yolanda and her 19-month-old daughter for a small afterparty.
Rebecca played with Yolanda’s 19-month-old daughter, the first time she’s hosted a friend and the first time she’s played with another child.
Eventually, Yolanda had to leave and we sent her off with some leftover cake, and the party wound down. That evening, we ate at Old Chicago.
On Monday, I encouraged my wife to drive Kristen to the airport while I stayed home with Rebecca, so the two women could have an uninterrupted chance to catch up.
That afternoon, Rebecca breast-fed, which is unusual. I haven’t listed every single event in Rebecca’s life, but… A while back, she decided she would only breastfeed at night, and only take bottles during the day. For a week or so, she wouldn’t even breastfeed at night. We thought she was weaning herself, but it turns out it was only a temporary nursing strike. Now she will breastfeed any time my wife is home, and only accept bottles when my wife is gone.
To see all my images from the three-day whirlwind, click here.
Kristen has also posted some images to her photostream on Flickr.
ADDENDUM, 9:15 p.m.:
Today (Aug. 24), we received the official baptism certificates from the church. In the spirit of the weekend, they were of course incorrect. My name was misspelled on one of the documents (correct on the other), and Rebecca’s new name (Thérèse) was left off both of them.
(Catholics usually add one name when they’re baptized, the name of a saint. When we picked Thérèse, it was because we couldn’t find any saints that matched her existing legal names. As it turns out, all three given names belong to saints.)
We’ve contacted the church already, and they’re supposed to be correcting their records and re-sending the documents.