Getting out of the house for a big occasion was stressful when it was just me because I tend to over think things. Fast forward a few years, add three kids and a trip to “big Church” - that's a recipe for one snippy, overly-stressed, high-strung Momma. So, when it came time to have Cooper baptized, I had a little sit-down with myself because, no matter how frenzied things got, I did NOT want to go into “crazy Mom mode.”
For me, “crazy Mom mode” is that frantic, high-pitch, heart racing, trying to control every little thing state of existence where I’m barking orders at my family to make sure we get where we need to be on time, and looking like the picture of perfection. Essentially, I try to make myself look like June Cleaver to the rest of the world, while my family just saw the mom version of “Carrie” play out back at home… ok, it probably isn't quite that bad, but you get the point.
To be perfectly honest, I’ve let perfectionism get the better of me too many times. Of course, we all want things to go well, but, trying to get every detail “just so” has frequently caused me to miss out on the joy of the moment. All the events of the last six months have helped me realize that I just need to "let it go." I know that sounds trite, and, so impossible, but twenty years from now when I think about the day our last baby was baptized, I will remember how it felt, not how it looked. So the night before Cooper’s baptism, I said a little prayer and asked God to please help me stay calm, and focused on the joy of the day, especially when (not if) things get sticky. As it turns out that was a good idea because it was more than a little crazy the next morning.
I woke up to my alarm at 6:15 a.m., a full three hours before we had to be at the Church. More than anything, I wanted to take a shower and blow dry my hair. I’m a little OCD about my locks, and the thought of standing up in front of a few hundred people with crazy hair gave me a panic attack, so I got up nice and early to get it done. But before I was even out of the shower, two of the three were already up and in our bed… BEFORE 7:00 a.m.! After I was decent, we threw those two in the shower and got busy. Kids were scrubbed, Mike was shaving, and I was drying my hair - whew! After that, we bounced up and downstairs between the escapades, and… did I mention that Charlotte was potty training? At 9:00 a.m. sharp, we were walking into the car as planned - we did it!
We pulled up to Church right on time, but the condition of the Schupbach family was less than perfect. Neither Charlotte or Cooper had any clothes on because we had serious potty training and spit-up fears, and didn’t want to risk their attire on the ride. The worst part was even though it was 28 degrees outside, only ONE of us (Charlotte) had a coat! So after we got the little ones dressed, in the freezing cold car, we made a mad dash towards the building. We looked ridiculous sprinting down the Church’s parking lot with three kids and four bags, but we were horrified to have forgotten all of our jackets and didn’t want our children to catch pneumonia. Once we made it, we swung the doors open, hurried inside, and of course, the first thing everyone said was, “where are your coats?!?” (#momoftheyear)
Once we warmed up, things started going a bit more smoothly. Before we knew it, it was time to get going with the actual ceremony. We gave Cooper a few tosses up in the air to get him extra happy, and then walked out towards the altar. Immediately, we saw all of our friends and family, and before I knew it, I was waving “hi!” to everyone. I probably shouldn’t have, but it happened like a reflex because it was so heartwarming to see them all supporting us. He wasn’t a big fan of the actual baptizing part, but he loved the attention he got afterward. When our preacher turned him to face the congregation everyone clapped, and Cooper started flapping his little arms and giggling like crazy - it was adorable. Then we took our seats with everyone else and tried to pay attention to the sermon as best as we could.
So, it wasn’t perfect, and, in all honesty, we really should have planned for the cold weather better, but it was fun and joyous. We all had a great time, and I felt free just to enjoy the day. And, you know what’s funny, is that by letting go of the all the details that would have driven me crazy, things ended up looking pretty great. We were together with people who love us, and the best compliment I got of the day was from my dear friend Laura who said, “you just looked really happy Jordan."
All of these moments were beautifully captured by our Aunt Judy, of Judy I. Francis Photography.