I began planning bears dedication long before he was born.
What I imagined
In my mind i saw the beautiful ceremony in the same church I’d dedicated his 6 siblings, visions of his huge smile as the minister lifted him in his white suit to pray for him playing over and over.
After his beautiful ceremony I imagined a simple reception with family and friends decorated stylishly with a nautical theme.
I even went so far as to design the cute invite and send it out. Ensuring that everyone knew ahead of time to save the date.
Not long after I’d sent the invite, his godmother fell pregnant and baby was due in September so we naturally changed the date.
Bringing his dedication much sooner and with that a new look at our available budget.
I chose my grandmother’s birthday ,21 May and was happy to see it fell on a Sunday. I have to say by now I was a little over trying to please everyone and we decided that if people couldn’t make it we weren’t changing the date again.
But I really wanted him to be surrounded by his full exstended family and God parents.
This also didn’t give me much time to replan with a much smaller budget as we wouldn’t have time to save for the extra 4 months.
I began to plan again
The origional church I’d planned hadn’t gotten back to me and reluctantly i chose another church who could do the dedication ceremony that weekend…. but … I wasn’t happy.
Our venue was able to move the dedication forward but our new hardly existent budget meant I was batteling to find a menue everyone would eat and still afford a cake.
My decor went from amazing to bare minimum. I wanted everything perfect and started looking for DIY options.
Something was wrong
Something was wrong ,and my heart wasn’t into planning this elaborate event .
I became tearful at the thought of having something less than what I’d imagined.
I really wanted his 3 God parents present but I didn’t want an event I’d been planning way before his birth to be a thrown together event because we were rushing.
In tears the one afternoon I finally threw my toys out the cot (yes….this mom lost her shit) and between tears of frustratiom and the realisation that my boys dedication would be something less than what I had planned for him, I told Pappa to cancel.
Right there in that moment I didn’t care if I had to wait a year … this was not the dedication I wanted for him.
I explained that as I worked on his dedication plans I felt more and more annoyed, stressed and just sad.
We had only invited family but I felt it was becoming less about the ceremony and more about making everyone happy. (Which you know is never possible).
My whole beautiful dedication ceremony was becoming a very costly event with none of the original simplicity and ideas. It was rushed and now everything was changed to fit our new much tighter budget.
So we cancelled
I don’t remember what excuse we used just that the pit in my stomach disappeared and was replaced with a calm knowledge that I could dedicate bear when he was a little older.
A new plan
A few days later papa phoned his mom in Durban ….bears gran is very active in her church and one of the few people who would have understood the meaning behind his beautiful dedication ceremony.
That nagging feeling in my heart came back and as he placed the phone down, I said” let‘s do the dedication in your mom‘s church.”
I had no idea if the church could accommodate us or what the pastor would need and it meant we would have to drive to Durban from Cape Town.
It also meant that none of the ideas I had planned would be included in his dedication. No family, no siblings, no friends , no large ceremony with its nautical theme.
Papa looked at me, mostly in shock and asked a hundred times if I was sure. I could see in his eyes he loved my idea, but he also knew how important it was for me to have this perfect.
We started planning our road trip.
For the first time since changing the date I was excited. This felt right. We would still be able to keep the date -my grandmother’s birthday and he would be dedicated in her happy place …Scottsburgh
It was going to be a suprise and so bears gran had no idea we were coming.
To achieve this we would need to get all our ducks in a row long before arriving in Scottsburgh. We phoned papas cousin T and with her help we were able to get the churchs contact number and suprise his gran by just arriving at her door on the Friday.
I phoned the church when we arrived at our friend in Umtata and together with the pastor and office we set up the suprise dedication for that Sunday.
The Friday I posted on my Facebook that we were on the road. People assumed as we had been travelling for a week prior that our road trip had ended and we were headed home.
As we got outside her door, I tagged her in a suprise we here photo, she was genuinely shocked as we buzzed and she heard Pappas voice.
We shouted SUPRISE for the first time that weekend.
The joy in seeing her grandson was wonderful and I was reassured that this was indeed the perfect dedication plan.
Saturday she gave bear his dedication gifts a bible and silver money box. I resisted the urge to spill the beans , especially when I saw her disappointment at his dedication being cancelled.
We met with T and I was able to arrange the very first cake I’d chosen to be baked. Secret whatsapp messages bounced between our hushed conversations.
And more surprises
Sunday finally arrived and bears gran was trying to get out of attending church. I nearly choked. How to convince her without being to obvious or revealing the secret.
Finally just before 8am we bundled into the car and headed to church.
We stepped into the warmest reception of people, most aware of the upcoming suprise and winking at us. Smiles and welcome arms surrounded us and i felt an emotion of joy overwealm me …. please dont let me cry 😂
The pastor took us aside and told us how the ceremony would go and bears gran was happy to see her sister and family fill the pew next to us.
The service began with well known hymns and I surveyed the beautiful blue flower arrangements placed on either side of the stage. Suddenly the pastor called bears gran up to the stage and asked her if she knew why she was called up, her confused reaction indicated …no!
“We here to dedicate your grandson ” he stated and called us up to join.
Bears gran began to cry which set me off and as the pastor prayed his dedication over our precious bear i realised this was exactly what I wanted.
There was no white dedication suite , no sharing the same church and pastor as his siblings but there was the one thing I’d wanted to achieve ….
Bear was surrounded by love on his special day.
A time to celebrate
We left the church and headed to T’s home where she had set up a beautiful table with the cross cake just as I’d wanted.
As i sat down to enjoy a piece of cake papa pointed out that T’s whole home is decorated with a nautical theme . I got my nautical theme after all.
Bear proudly held his certificate for photos and even did a mini cake smash with his first real taste of cupcakes as he enjoyed playing with his cousins.
As for us …. We could finally tell everyone the real reason for our road trip and share our second suprise that weekend.