Christenings – and my son’s promise to his godmother

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Thursday 12th January 2012

We’re not even halfway through January and my son’s stressed about exams, my daughter’s up against an essay deadline and my husband’s in Malaysia.

But my spirits rise when two thank-you letters arrive in the post. Coincidentally, they’re from each of my god-daughters – Kitty, a sophisticated 24-year-old Londoner, and Maddie, 11, whose gymnastic talents are a joy to behold. They live at opposite ends of the country and I don’t get to see them that often, but I’m a very proud godmother.

Christenings seem to be going out of fashion – around a third of babies born each year are christened – but even so, I love the idea of a special event (christening, naming ceremony, welcoming party, whatever) to celebrate the birth of your children. And choosing godparents to keep a weather eye out for them is even better.

One of my closest friends, my ex-Evening Standard pal Wendy Holden, is my son’s godmother and she’s a brilliant inspiration to him. He’s so devoted to her that he even deigned to accept her as a friend on Facebook (he ditched me long ago, I’m sad to say).

One of the things (and there have been many over the years) that most endeared her to him was the time he stayed at her house in Suffolk at the age of eight. She sat him down and explained that being a godmother wasn’t just about her sending him presents – it was a “two-way thing.” She jokily asked him what he was going to organise for her as a treat. He thought hard for a moment and declared that when he was 21 he’d collect her from her house on a motorbike and take her out to tea at the Ritz.

She stared at him in astonishment. “Hmm… I’m definitely holding you to that one,” she said.

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