We are going to a Dedication this weekend for the baby of the Now We're Fertile couple. These are the ones who, although they sympathised with us during the three years and unexplained infertility diagnosis it took them to get pregnant, conveniently forgot that it's NOT nice to be broadsided with pregnancy announcements, and told us while we were on holiday, with just them.
Dedications, for the uninitiated, are the Baptist/"We're So Special We Don't Fit In a Denomination" version of christenings/infant baptisms. One is not supposed to be baptised until one is old enough and savvy enough to stand up and speak for oneself, but strangely, parents still want Tradition and Ceremony for their baby. Hence the Dedication.
Now, unfortunately I have known a lot of Special church people in my life so I know all about these, but the general population doesn't. Especially not card shops.
So, having bitten my tongue, agreed to go, started steeling myself for the Shouty Church, the Over The Top Reception (in the same venue as their Over The Top Wedding - at least there isn't a river boat to take us between the two this time), and come over all Good Wife and gone to the card shop, what did I find?
Lots of Christening cards (no Baptism cards for either babies or adults - I'd actually call it a Baptism whatever the age, but no matter.) A selection of It's a Boy cards and of Naming Ceremony cards. Nothing whatsoever for infant dedication.
See, when you try and behave, where does it get you? I've a good mind to buy them a Civil Ceremony card, well, it's a ceremony, and I'm hoping I'll manage to be civil.
[Theological aside: you may switch off now, but my take on this is: baptism welcomes infants, children, or adults into the church, and anyone can be a member of the church, it does not take knowledge or maturity. Refusing to baptise infants because they cannot answer for themselves begs the question, what of those who are adults or adolescents and cannot answer for themselves? It seems to me rather insulting to children (and parents of such children) who have severe learning disabilities such that they will never be verbal. They should not be refused membership of the church either. Likewise, my godmother's sister-in-law, brought up Baptist but with Asperger's Syndrome, refused to answer "yes" to the questions put to her in her adolescent baptism preparation, because having Asperger's Syndrome she would not answer anything that she was not 100% sure about. No-one is 100% sure about belief, and if they are I'd be mighty suspicious, and I think the sister-in-law wasn't intending to be refused baptism. It is, to my mind, a dangerously gnostic model of belief - if you know certain facts and answer correctly to certain questions, you are a member of the church - if not, not.]