One of the many life-long decisions one has to make with children, assuming one is religious, is Godparents. While visions of a very powerful Marlon Brando as the Godfather seems classic, it can be a difficult decision. When it was time for my husband, George, and I to have the Godparent discussion I had a very clear focus. I wanted my compadres to love and guide my children with the same tenacious love and values we have for them. They needed to be grand people who my own children should admire, and in the most severe of circumstances that we perish tragically together, I want them to really step into a parenting role.
In the pursuit of the ideal that ‘it takes a village,’ I did not want to choose anyone related to us. My mindful expectation is for relatives to have an ongoing presence. I wanted to add, even more, great influences to our kids’ lives by making official the selections of our lifelong, connected friends. A testimony of historical or spiritual connection would ensure proximate longevity for my babies. I also made decisions based on whose personalities would most suit the temperament of my pregnancies. Yes, pregnancies, we chose Godparents for all three while I was carrying with the plan to baptize them around 6 months old.
During my first pregnancy there was one friend, Olga, a fellow compatriot from the second floor (Cuban humor) of La Habana, Cuba and she was a vital resource and support system to me. Her husband lives the kindness Sofia will favor. She genuinely was concerned for Sofia before she was even born. During my second pregnancy with baby Giana there was only one choice, Yanay, whose grandparents and mine were friends in Oriente, Cuba. With two countries, four generations and about 75 years of friendship, she is my sister from another mother and her husband has strength reminiscent of my husband. When I was pregnant with Lorenzo there was again only one choice, Dayana, whose father worked with mine on the line at Chrysler for over 20 years. I don’t remember not loving her family. Her husband comes from a family I would be proud to call my own and they love us ferociously, calling my husband their fourth triplet. We are blessed to have the Johnson’s, Weaver’s and Correa’s in our life. We laugh together and in cases we have cried. They are solidly an extension of our family that will continue in the generations of my grandchildren.
The Correas honored us with the same responsibility and we baptized my beautiful Anisa last year. My newest Goddaughter-to-be, Naiya was born to the Weavers (photo above) last month. Godchildren are such a treat, and it’s so hilarious to hear my own kids talk about their Godsisters and Godbrothers.
Take the time to choose wisely based on your own moral compass, and be confident in that choice. You will be able to explain it with great logic to anyone, especially your children. That explanation will hopefully avoid any hurt feelings of the wishful people who wanted the honor. In the end, the choice is about the baby and their lovely future. One last thing to consider with godparents is that very often, the relationships dissipate over time. As with any relationship in your life, you must make a conscious effort to keep those you love engaged.
In truth if any one of my own Godchildren lost their parents, with honor and if it was their parents’ wish, George and I would move them into our home, and raise them as our own, keeping the beautiful memories of their parents alive and well. I love you Damion, Vianney, Anthony, Anisa, Naiya and your siblings too!
The key: Chose wisely based on your own moral compass, and make a conscious effort to keep the Godparents of your children engaged.
Trina M. Fresco, Vice President of Operations for the IT firm smarTECHS.net since 2007 and NBCLatino Contributor, was named one of “50 Powerful Minority Women in Business” by MEA Magazine. Fresco is the Chair of the Chicago Foundation for Women Investment Subcommittee and serves on a number of additional boards & committees. Fresco resides Chicago with her husband, George and their three children Sofia, Giana and Lorenzo. You can contact her at FrescoRealTalk@gmail.com or on Twitter @trinafresco.