We planned the baptism around when my cousin would be in town from Rome, and even though we just moved into the new place and have been swamped with unpacking and stuff, we hustled to get in on the baptism prep classes so we'd be on schedule for the last Sunday in October. And we were, kind of amazingly, on schedule.
Then my mother-in-law called last week to say she was going to come to New York for the baptism. Even better. Now we'd have almost all the important players. Couldn't be better.
Sunday morning, my aunt called to see if the baptism would still be happening.
"Of course!" I replied, "Why wouldn't it?" My grandmother had been cooking for two days straight. The heirloom baptismal gown that my great grandmother had crocheted for me when I was baptized had been cleaned and ironed. Everything was ready.
"Well, they're shutting the subways down tonight," she explained, "Because of the storm."
Oh, for crying out loud.
"Well, its on," I said, "We will wrap up the festivities before the subway shuts down."
We slid into the church minutes before the baptism started ("Terza Kear? Is the family of Terza Kear here? Oh good, we're all waiting for you,") but we made it and that little baby cried her head off when the priest poured the water over her head, just the way everyone wants her to. It was lovely.
Then off to the party, and dishing out baked ziti and playing Phantom of the Opera music for the kids to dance along to and lots and lots of cannoli cake.
One upside of having a party just before a massive super storm hits town? It wraps itself up mighty quick. Usually, I have people hanging around while I take down the decorations and kids who refused to leave and there's the sorry-but-party's-over-folks dance. But this time, with the entire transit system shutting down, there was no hangers-on. Within an hour, everyone had eaten. In an other half hour, they'd laid waste to the cake and put their jackets on. In less than two hours, we'd packed up the remains of the party, swept up and were out of there. Pretty delightful. I think I may spread the news that a hurricane is about to hit every time I plan a large affair.
The other upside of the pre-storm party is we had tons of leftovers to take back home and eat for two days, while we were holed up. We had enough for the doorman and to barter, if necessary (it wasn't). Nonnie's ziti is currency, make no mistake. There was my mom's famous dip to nosh on and chicken cutlets and juice boxes. And of course, about two tons of cannoli cake. I don't know that I would have made it through the storm without the cannoli cake. Pretty much been eating on it breakfast lunch and dinner. When school re-opens, I'll probably be twenty pounds heavier.
We got to have a big, social rendez-vous and fully exhaust ourselves, which made it actually a very welcome change to have to spend all the next day at home.
Now, the day after that was a bit much. And today, we're fully ready to have these kids back in school and out of our hair. But I'm just grateful we didn't lose power and I didn't have to get all Survivor Woman. And I'm glad we squeezed that baptism in, in the calm before the storm.