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On becoming The Godmother

A couple of months ago, a friend of mine became pregnant after five years of hoping and praying. At the time, I was also a few months pregnant with my second child. Though we had been friends for several years, our newly-common interest deepened our relationship. Our husbands are also buddies. So it was a great honor when they asked us to be their godparents.

In some communities, the role of a godparent is somewhat symbolic. For both of our families, though, it is a meaningful commitment. They wanted us to help keep them accountable for raising their son (and any other children they may have together) according to our faith. We are to be a second set of parents for him, cheering him on at soccer games, praising his good report cards and steering him in the right direction when he loses his way as a teenager. They expect us to pray for him as we do our own children. And, God forbid anything should happen to them, they have asked us to raise him to be a man.

When they first asked us if we would be their godparents, it seemed an easy decision. We disclosed to them every teensy medical condition and possibility for our own early demise to make sure they didn’t want to change their minds. And so it was settled. But that was last summer. This past Sunday, it was time to say, “I do.” We stood in front of the church, promising to God and our friends that we would take their boy as our own. It was kind of scary. But it was also really awesome.

It’s amazing to think that I have friends that love and trust me enough to ask such a thing. It’s reassuring to know that they-and a few other couples we know-are deeply committed to my children, even if they haven’t promised to be their guardians. I never had such relationships when my son was born almost twelve years ago. And I never realized what I was missing. It has made me think about how much my friends have added to my life, and how much harder it would be to raise my children without them.

True, sometimes my friends take up “too much” of my time. I get behind on my work or my chores. And it can be stressful if I have a deadline. But truly, my friends don’t add stress to my life; they add balance. I am so lucky to have them. Take some time this week to be a good friend. Make a short phone call. Stop by. Send an email. Then thank your lucky stars.

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