Yesterday Kimball got baptized. In a lot of ways it felt like a graduation -- the end of many things, the beginning of many others.
There was a time when I wasn't sure Kimball would be baptized at all. When he was born, he aspirated some meconium and had seizures as a result of the brain damage that occurred that day. When the doctors saw the condition of his newborn brain they told us that there was no way of knowing what his future would be like. They said: "We are pretty sure he will walk, but he may not be the fastest runner in his school. We are pretty sure he will go to a normal school, but he may not be the smartest kid in his school." As brand new parents this prognosis was terrifying, and in the months and years that followed, it seemed like things would never be easy for Kimball. He started walking just as he turned 18 months old. He potty-trained the day he entered kindergarten, and he cried day after day when he had a bath because he was terrified of getting water in his mouth or eyes.
This made me seriously question if he would ever have the courage to be baptized, something we do by immersion in our church. A couple of months ago, he started doing some tentative practice in the bathtub getting his face in the water -- usually dramatically begging for a towel as soon as he had resurfaced. I had planned to take him to the swimming pool to practice with him, but that never happened.
So yesterday when we got in the water, I was really not sure how it would go. I was especially concerned when I realized that the water in the font was cold! But we went down in the water, and Kimball was cool as a cucumber. I said the words of the prayer, and I pushed him under the water and made sure that he was completely submerged. It was by far the longest he has ever been under water. When he came out he looked like he was in a bit of shock, but I gave him a big hug and helped him wipe his eyes, and he was happy.
I feel like yesterday Kimball left a lot in the water. He still will have challenges, and we are working on things, but I see him differently now. He seems more confident, even older and more mature. I no longer have any problems imagining what his future will be like. I know that he has what he needs to have success in school and get a good job, to form positive relationships, even to someday get married and start his own family. I feel like God gave me a glimpse of that yesterday. I'm grateful for it.