A few months ago we realized that we lived on the wrong side of Macleay St in Potts Point.
On the other side of the road, we would have been in the catchment area for one of the best primary schools in Sydney. Tragically our catchment school has notoriously low grades and horror stories about the children (and their parents) who attend there…
Clearly we wouldn’t be sending our son Jack here.
Short of moving, we looked at our options and decided the only thing for it was to get our son baptized!
The Catholic school options for primary school education were just too good for our son to miss out on.
I was raised a Catholic (and always wanted my kids to be baptized), but my husband is a non-practicing Jew, and whilst initially uncomfortable about the idea of getting our son christened to gain entry to a high performing school, the pragmatist in him saw sense.
On the day of the service, it wasn’t my husband who was uncomfortable, but Jack. We couldn’t even get Jack into his carefully coordinated outfit. My normally obliging clothes horse ran from the apartment in his nappy.
Whether the atheist or Jew in him rebelled, or something more sinister….as we approached the Church, he became increasingly agitated and I was reminded of the final scene in the movie, The Omen.
My usually well behaved toddler was nothing short of monstrous throughout the service. He worked the other children into a frenzy, made it very clear he was upset to be annointed with oil and sung every hymn out of tune. In true Exorcist style, he even managed to vomit at the steps of the altar!
Thankfully, the priest was a particularly kind and patient man, who must have had plenty of experience in dealing with possessed children. As he splashed holy water on my child’s wildly thrashing head, I held him in my arms and whispered to him…”there, there Jack, you want to go to a nice school don’t you?”