Kristine Rohwer

Kristine Rohwer's daughter eating cake during her "baby blessing" at the family's home in Elkhorn, Nebraska. 

My husband and I were baptized in the name of the Lord; we were both raised to go to church on Sunday mornings and on Christmas Eve.

But now that my husband and I have created a family of our own, our Sundays involve sleeping in – at the mercy of a baby and a toddler – pancakes, bedhead and no plans until after noon.

Both of our families are traditional – but we aren't so much. We "lived in sin" for three years before getting married, outside, while our guests drank beer. Yet we wanted to find a way to bridge the gap between our loving families and their traditions, and our lovable family and our non-traditions.

So we decided to have a baby blessing.

For those of you not familiar with this term, a baby blessing is an "alternative to a traditional baptism or christening" of children, according to an article. Some parents do a baby blessing if they don't belong to a congregation or if there are two separate religions involved in their families.

With a baby blessing, parents can create their own baby blessing and tailor the ceremony based on their own family’s traditions. Some may choose to bless their child with holy water or use a favorite passage from the Bible. Others may not use any of their family's traditions. Many people have these within a church or in a location of the parents' choosing.

The baby blessing for our toddler and baby was held in the tradition of brunch in our home. We coined our blessing, “Brunchtism,” and sent out colorful invites to immediate family members and a few friends. We even chose a godparent that we happily call our children’s “guru.” Between quiche and French toast casserole – a huge hit – we had a simple ceremony and then served cake. We explained why we were having our event and thanked our guests for coming, for being in our family’s life – and being a support system for our children. We explained that while we, as parents, may not be equipped to be our children's religious guidance, our good friends and family can be. Our appointed guru made a pledge to our children. I “ugly cried.”

I understand writing this may come with some criticism in what my husband and I believe – or don't believe. We do believe in the fundamentals of each of our family's chosen religion: to be loving, forgiving and giving towards people. Like all parents, we will raise our children to have a moral compass.

We were lucky that our family and friends supported the idea of something new, and supported our decision for an uncommon ceremony. Maybe they were just being polite, but we made a dent in the cake and our recycling bins have a couple of empty bottles of champagne.

What’s a brunch without mimosas? Even Jesus drank wine!


Kristine Rohwer resides in Elkhorn, Nebraska, with her husband, step-son, daughter, son and two neurotic dogs.

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