• Dadwagon on Facebook
  • Dadwagon on Twitter
  • Dadwagon RSS feed

The Godparent Trap

June 4th, 2010  |  by  |  Published in Uncategorized  |  1 Comment

godfatherI don’t pretend to understand what constitutes a discussion about social mores in England, but these days it apparently involves something called the Tatler, Martin Amis, and fairy godparents. That is, British godparents suck:

It’s what one might call the Godparent Trap: Like a horror B-movie, legions of zombie godparents are walking mindlessly among us. The parents who do the asking don’t know what they’re asking for. The friends who do the accepting don’t know what they’re accepting. And the children who do the receiving don’t know what they’re receiving.

I find this all kind of fascinating, partly because Jean and I put some real thought into who we chose as Sasha’s godparents. Or maybe that was just me—they don’t have such an institution in Taiwan. In any case, we/I picked two friends who both have very strong moral centers—who are definitely concerned with doing the right thing. One is religious (Catholic), the other is, as far as I know, not (Chinese). We don’t always agree with their points of view, but their points of view are instructive nonetheless.

Do I actually expect them to guide Sasha on a religious/moral level? Hardly. My own godparents didn’t do anything of the sort.

The way godparents affected my life was not morally but, perhaps, thematically. My godfather is my uncle—my dad’s brother—and my godmother was Marsha (Marcia?) Moss, a librarian in Concord, Massachusetts. It’s a hard thing to quantify, but simply knowing who these people were had something of an effect on my life. Okay, my thinking must have went as a child, my godmother is a librarian—what does that mean for me?

In other words, it probably doesn’t really matter what a godparent does. What matters is who the godparent is, and how a child sees their selection in light of his or her own development.

So, chill out, Brits, and go spend some time at your local library. I think you might even find Martin Amis there.


Responses

  1. KK says:

    June 4th, 2010at 5:49 pm(#)

    You’re definitely biased. My godfather (I don’t know of any godmother…) is my uncle on my dad’s side, and he was everything in my life that a godparent should be. You just didn’t get lucky, my friend. No offense. But thanks for the thought.

Leave a Response

tips/suggestions/grievances

Recent Comments

  • Dee: As one of the impressed moms there last night, and also because my kid ate 3 bowls of that bolognese, thanks for...
  • Drew Wallner via Facebook: I’m totally making this when we get back from holiday travel, I even just got a...
  • Matt: Whoops! Just put that back in. The recipe editor has been fired.
  • Ed Lilly: Looks great – thanks for posting! One question – you did not specify putting the meat back into...
  • Maks: I’m against baby yoga for sure, but want to say something regarding that author is a little wild about...

DadWagon Reads!

DadWagon

"When we met my dad at Starbucks he said I couldn’t play with his laptop but I forgot. He also said don’t fool around with his phone but I think I FaceTimed Australia. My dad sighed and published a short piece on Medium about the challenges of raising kids in the digital age."

Alexander and the V Bad, FML Day

newyorker.com

There was quinoa for dinner and I hate quinoa.

Mar 14th 2:07pm • No Comments

Knock knock.

Who's there?

The interrupting toddler.

The interr—

BBC Radio 1

THIS. IS. AMAZING. 😂

When your Dad is live on BBC News but you just can't wait...

(Via Newsbeat)

Mar 10th 4:06pm • No Comments

"They’re both making noise—sometimes a lot. They’re kids, so they do that. It looks like you’re on a date. Are you on a date? He looks like a nice guy."

Why I Sometimes Nix The Sitter And Drag My Kids To Grown-Up Stuff

rodalesorganiclife.com

Really, it’s good for them—and kind of good for everyone else, too.

Jan 25th 11:50pm • No Comments