We recently had a beautiful day with family and friends who all gathered to help officially welcome our daughter Margot Miriam Moore into the world, our community and our family. It was an incredibly moving experience to see how many people Margot has looking out for her in this world.
We had hoped for a sunny spring day, but it turned out to be a snowy one instead. Spring was in the air, anyway, since we had asked that each guest bring a flower to add to Margot’s bouquet. We were blown away by the beautiful collection of blossoms people bestowed upon our little girl! I was especially touched that our dear friends, who were not able to make the trip down for the ceremony, had flowers delivered to our house.
During the ceremony our immediate family members got up and gave a little welcoming message to Margot.
Our fathers spoke about the incredible women for whom Margot is named. My father-in-law spoke about his mother, Miriam, who is 93 years old and still as strong-willed as ever living in Pennsylvania. She was not able to make the trip out to New York for the ceremony, but she was definitely there in spirit. My father spoke about his mother, Margarita (whose nickname was Margot). She passed away when I was a young girl, but my father gave a beautiful speech about how her spirit has been renewed in our little girl.
Our mothers and our siblings also stood up and read poems, gave promises to Margot and talked about what a special presence she is in all of our lives. Then, my husband Todd and I each gave vows to our daughter, promising her our love and devotion as we had promised it to each other two years ago.
I feel so incredibly lucky to have such an amazing circle of friends and family and it’s difficult for me to put into words how wonderful our day was yesterday. Margot did receive many beautiful flowers and some lovely gifts, but the most moving thing of all was the feeling of friendship and love that was in the air as our two families and different groups of friends all gathered together.
When Margot got a little overwhelmed, she and I excused ourselves upstairs for a little quiet cuddle time. As she was nursing, the sounds of everyone below talking and laughing lulled her to sleep and in that moment I felt so completely content.
Todd and I had spent a lot of time thinking about and planning for the ceremony and the celebration surrounding it, so it was very satisfying when it went off without a hitch. And we got so many heartfelt compliments from everyone about how nice everything was and how personal the ceremony was. We also got a lot of comments about how much they preferred it to a traditional baptism.
We left the day feeling very much like we did after leaving our wedding. We tend not to do things in the “traditional” ways, and often get a lot of funny looks from people when we describe what we have in mind. With Margot’s ceremony, and our wedding before it, we got some push back from people who thought what we had planned was weird, or just… had lots of questions like “um, what the heck is a welcome ceremony?” So, we feel especially pleased when those same people come up to us to say “That was so lovely!” or “This was the nicest wedding/baby ceremony I have ever been to!”
I know a few friends who are not religious and feel unsure about how they can celebrate milestones in their child’s life the way religious families do. It’s difficult when you attend baptisms for other people’s children and you feel that you or your child may have missed out on something just because you don’t wish to celebrate in a religious way. I would be so happy if someone out there in the world came across this account of our beautiful day celebrating our daughter, and was inspired to do something similar for their new, non-religious baby!