By: Mia L. Hazlett
So what are godparents to you and your family? Well to me they must reflect God (I love how people leave this out even with the given title), must have children, a very similar approach to raising a child, and my kids must know and love them. These are not “or” things. If you don’t possess all of these characteristics, you don’t qualify. I’m writing this because godparents have been on my mind lately. I was asked the other day who my daughter’s godparents were and I told them they only have a godmother. I fired their godfather when my youngest was two months. When I thought of him, God wasn’t what came to mind. When I think of their godmother, she has already had to fulfill her commitment to this role. Let me explain.
Almost three years ago I separated from my husband and embarked on 18 months of unemployment. At my very worst when I could barely hold on to my sanity, she opened her home to us for a year and helped me and my children through our worst. Oh yeah, and continued to raise her two daughters and work full-time. You see, that’s the role of a godmother. Most people think it’s when the parent is dead, they step in. But for me, the godmother is the back-up for when the mother cannot perform her role. Another obvious and to me the most important function, is to guide my children so they know Jesus and God. We joined her church while we lived there and shared many a services with her and her family. She is so close with my daughters that my youngest asked me once if she was her mother too? I told her yes. I know she would do for my daughters as she has done for her own.
Then there were times when I put everything on the table with my oldest. I told her the truth about our circumstances and it’s led to over two years of very open communication between her and I. But there were times when we lived with my friend that she didn’t want to worry me or hurt my feelings. So when her godmother would go to the store or run errands, she would hop in the car with her and they would talk. Me and my friend made a pact long ago about our kids, as long as our kids are in no danger and it’s just about their feelings, we were their safe havens. My kids could go to her and vice-versa. They don’t have to worry about us sharing their secrets. I think all kids need that. Again the name of this blog. It’s not my time to be my kids’ friend, but I understand there is stuff going on in their lives that they may not want to share with me. She would either tell my daughter to talk to me about it or she would tell me everything was okay and not to worry. That to me is a Godmother. Someone who can tell me not to worry about my own kid because they’ve handle it and I don’t give it a second thought.
Now as I think about a godfather for my kids, it’s very difficult. I have yet to meet and know a man that fits all my criteria. Some people have given me the “yeah, but”. “Yeah, but,” is “Yeah, but he is a really good father to his kids,” “Yeah, but he goes to church,” “Yeah, but your kids could get to know him.” Blah, blah, blah. I don’t settle when it comes to who I expose my kids to. I don’t settle when all the characteristics I require aren’t fulfilled. They are requirements not preferences. I know my children need to be exposed to a Christian, moral, honest male role model. It is imperative for their upbringing. But I am not just going to have anyone step into this role, just so I can say they have a godfather. They are surrounded by very positive male role models. Some are Christians, some are not. Some have kids, some don’t. Some I agree with the way they raise their children, some I don’t. Some my kids know and love, some they don’t. So when there is a check next to each of these, my kids will have a godfather. But until then, I’m not settling. They already have a terrific godmother that’s holding it down.
*And just a side note here – they will have to get my kids’ godmother’s approval too. Good luck on that one. She’s a work in progress on the sharing thing.