I am a Godfather, it seems

A bride waits outside the Basilica for her big moment.

FOR THE FIRST time in my life, I have been roped into the role of Godfather.

This is strange due to my not being a Catholic or a Christian or even a believer as they define it. I’ve dodged this job a number of times since moving south many years ago, but I finally got volunteered by my child bride. I don’t recall if she asked me first or not. She likely did due to being a Mexican wife.

They are quite different from Gringas. Better.

While I am the Godfather, she is the Godmother, and she did all the work. I just showed up yesterday and tried to look devout. I was the only Gringo there, so I stuck out like the proverbial sore thumb.

Our guest of honor, our Godson, is the second child of a nephew. The baby, about eight months old, is named Oliver Lobsang if you can believe it. Lobsang is not his last name. It’s his middle name, and Oliver Lobsang doesn’t even like me. He howls when I enter the room. He’s anti-Gringo.

But now I’m his Godfather. Take that, Oliver Lobsang!

When we showed up at the Basilica downtown at 1 p.m., there was lots of activity, mucho money-making on the part of the priests. A little girl was getting what I assumed was her First Communion. Waiting in the wings outside was a bride-to-be. That’s her in the photo. Fewer quesadillas, honeybun.

The Baptism took place in a side chapel, and there were about eight babies being soaked at the same time. God gets assembly lines.

I assumed a sanctified face, exuding spirituality.

The deed being done, we headed nearby to the traditional party. Tacos were served, as was beer, Sprite, Coca-Cola, salty nuts and a big cake. I only stayed an hour because the music was loud, and those things run on forever.

As I stepped out to the cobblestoned street, I heaved my Holiness aside, and headed to the Honda with a smile on my face. I’m a Godfather. I hope Oliver Lobsang doesn’t expect much from me. I was dragooned, amigo.

The Godfather

I PUT ON my best white shirt, my only white shirt, which came with me from Houston years ago, an Eddie Bauer, and I hoped no one would notice the small iron-on patch low and inside the left sleeve.

There were blue jeans down below and a tweed sport coat, also from my previous Texas life, in an attempt to be “dressed up.” It was the best I could do, or perhaps was willing to do.

I even donned my Dockers loafers instead of my usual Jeep boots. I was looking good, and I was going to a graduation.

The graduate was my favorite nephew whom I used to call the Little Vaquero due to a cowboy hat he wore briefly, his deceased daddy’s idea more than the boy’s. Daddy’s gone now, entombed below the Basilica floor where nobody can see the bullet hole — R.I.P. and good riddance.

godfather-marlon-brando-tony-rubinoI was the boy’s Godfather for this event. He was graduating from Grammar School, and will be entering Junior High toward the end of summer. About the only responsibility I had was to show up (no problem) and to bring a gift, and I brought two, one being his favorite, cash.

Godfather and Godmother are titles tossed about willy-nilly in Mexico. Usually, it’s an “honor” bestowed so money can be extracted from you. See above, cash. This particular gig is a one-day deal. Other Godfather roles are lifelong. I’ve been invited to that show too, more than once, but I have a permanent escape. I’m not Catholic, which is a deal-breaker.

The event was held at a theater downtown, and later the party, such as it was — just us, the kid, mama and a girlfriend of hers, a local dentist — took place here at the Hacienda. We had bowls of green pozole, which is my preferred method of celebrating most anything.

cuteIt’s amazing that the boy will be 13 in eight more months. I remember when he was brought home, a big-eared but beautiful baby. Here’s a photo I took not much later of the little bugger. Time passes, and I am passing through it.

As we all are.