The Responsibility Of A Godparent: Here’s What I Have Learnt Today…

Yesterday I became a godparent for the third time. Well, strictly speaking, that’s not actually true. Yesterday my friend gave birth to a baby boy – James – and she and her partner have asked me to be his godfather. So, although I have yet to renounce the devil for him officially, I still think of the little 6lb 8oz fella as my godson.

I have been asked to be a godparent on two previous occasions (see earlier blog “I Want A Baby!) which means I have renounced Satan twice already. I’ll be honest with you, renouncing him for a third time feels like I am goading him. As a kind natured person I try my best not to goad people anyway but goading Satan by constantly renouncing him just feels like I am being a little over-confident; almost cocky. However, if that’s what it takes to be a good godfather then I wouldn’t think twice about coming face to face with him and his temper tantrums. In fact I think that would be the easiest part of my role.

Here’s the thing, I feel a great deal of responsibility in being a godfather. I even looked up the exact definition which reads thus:

One having a relation to someone or something analogous to that of a male sponsor to his godchild: as (A) : One that founds, supports, or inspires (B) : the leader of an organised crime syndicate

I am assuming the listed examples are options to choose from. I know you should never “assume” because “you make a donkey out of us both” or something similar but, in this instance, I am going to do just that and ignore the 2nd option. To think, I have tried to avoid confrontation for most of my life and now here I am, renouncing Satan AND organised crime syndicates at the same time (maybe I shouldn’t have had that second coffee before I began writing this).

So as a godfather it is my duty to “support and inspire”. Well it’s easy enough to support. I consider myself a very supportive person – especially when it comes to my godchildren (I’m going to say “godkids” because I think that’s a bit less formal).

In fact this very week I was out for a meal with my parents and the family of my first godson, Mac. During the afternoon Mac said to me, “Al, let’s walk funnily..” before grabbing my hands and just letting his legs go. At that very point I was, indeed, supporting him (as well as laughing hysterically). Then he wanted to play on the machine with the flashy lights and it was here that I was both supportive and responsible. I took him to the slot machine and lifted him onto the chair whilst also supporting him – physically and emotionally – and encouraging him to press the buttons when they flashed. However I didn’t put any money in the machine and was, therefore, also responsible. You could call it intuition but something told me that a 2 and a half year old shouldn’t be putting money into a gambling machine. ¬†Sometimes you just have to go with your gut instinct in these situations.

So I know I can offer support but can I inspire? That’s the bit that I worry about a little. OK, truthfully, that’s the bit I worry about A LOT. Don’t get me wrong, I am very happy with my life and I have made some amazing friends. I would hope that they see that and see that their family also have amazing friends and are inspired to follow a similar path. I am also continuously carving out a career that makes me happy and, hopefully, makes others happy as well. So I would hope they see that as a good thing. There are also instances in my adult life where I think, honestly, I probably haven’t been that inspirational. Although those instances have, by and large, been before my godkids were born so I’ll probably just keep quiet on that front…

The only thing I know for sure in my role as godparent is that I love each of my godchildren equally and dearly. Having first become a godparent to my very special godaughter a few years ago, I was hoping I’d be the polished article by the time James arrived a few hours ago.

However, “Here’s What I Have Learnt Today...” Being a Godparent isn’t something that is learnt in a day or even a year. It’s something that is learnt throughout a lifetime. Being a Godparent is about thoughts as much as deeds, actions as much as words. That said, if ever I did have to impart words of wisdom to my godchildren¬†I would share this advice:

Then I would tell them to be true to themselves, that plagiarism is a sign of weakness and hope that they’d never heard of Conan O’Brien!