Will post up video and pics after today, here is the naming ceremony stuff. Thanks to Dad, Gaye and Mum for sending pressies from back home!!
Naming Ceremony for Thomas Alan Decorcy Patton
28th April 2007
On behalf of Annabel & Keith, it is my pleasure to welcome you on this very special occasion, the 1st Birthday and Naming Day for their son, Thomas.
Before we start the ceremony, I have been asked to invite Carin & Jim forward as I believe they have a special tribute to make.
Carin & Jim speak
We are gathered here today to formally welcome baby Thomas into his family, to name him and to share with his parents and grandparents, delight and joy in his safe arrival.
The miracle of birth, the creation and arrival of a brand-new human being is both exciting and moving, but it brings awesome responsibilities.
We are here to offer support for those who will take care of him. Bringing a new life into this world is one of the most important things any two people can do.
For many years to come, this child will be dependent on his parents. They are very aware that the way a child is looked after, cared for and loved, will all play a part in determining the sort of adult that child will become.
Annabel and Keith, this child is your message to a time you will never know. Remember that all that you teach him, will be what he teaches your grandchildren and their children. You are continuing a dynasty that was started by your own parents and their parents and this is how it should be. Remember your part in ensuring that he grows to be a good citizen and a good parent when his time comes.
It’s now my pleasure to hand over to Annabel and Keith.
Annabel & Keith speak
[to be added]
I’ll start with a quote the great Zen Master Suzuki-Roshi once said.
“Everything is perfect, with much room for improvement”
About 5 minutes after Tommy was born I was ushered over to where the baby doctor was doing some measurements. I think the best way to describe the feeling is like winning some huge lottery or finding buried treasure, something like that. I felt an instant change inside, a shedding of skin, a total overwhelming feeling of responsibility, love and intense connectedness to the world.
Everything was perfect, but I certainly felt there was much room for improvement, particular with respect to the inside of my stomach at that point.
Since he looked into my eyes that morning and I into his, we have watched in awe at his growth and development. In terms of parenting, with my many year of experience, I can only offer a single observation.
Having your first child is like a gardener being given a packet of unlabelled seeds. The resultant flora will no doubt have ideal conditions for its growth that will result in its flourishing rapidly towards the sun. However, the gardener must experiment, and guard the growth of the unknown seed with great humility if it is to become as great as its seed dictates.
To that end, our roles as a parents are as of the gardener. Tommy, I will aim to listen, learn, guide and instruct you to become the very best person that you want to be.
As you must discover this path for yourself, I can simply offer you my unlimited support, understanding and love as long as it shall be required. Love, Dad.
An important tradition in our culture on these occasions is the responsibility accepted by others who taken an active interest in a child’s wellbeing. Annabel and Keith have asked Carin, Jim & Udi to be Life Mentors to Thomas and they have agreed to undertake a special and lifelong interest in Thomas’s welfare. Unfortunately, Udi is unable to be here today, so I’d now ask Carin and Jim to come forward.
Together with Annabel and Keith, now place your hands on Thomas’s head and say these words together:
“Today we name Thomas Alan Decorcy Patton with love.
We dedicate ourselves to care for him
and we promise always to consider his interests.
We will always be aware of how needing of our care
Thomas is and will do our best to raise him as a good person.”
Keith, I ask you to light this candle as a symbol of the path you will light for Thomas. May you keep the light and brightness for his life, allowing him to walk the path of life in his own way, waiting patiently if he stumbles, standing still if he wanders so that he may return and find you there. Pace him as he runs and guide him by example as you walk through the years.
Annabel, please take this balloon. Hold it as you will hold the hand of Thomas as he learns to walk and dream. Before this day is done, release it into the air to travel without attachment. So too, when your baby has outgrown the need for your support and assistance, let him fly without hindrance.
Thomas, on behalf of everyone gathered here, I congratulate you on your safe arrival and thank you for the joy your first 12 months has given to many. May you grow to be a kind, honest and loving human being, for which all of those gathered here today would be so proud. May you have a peaceful community around you and may you strive to reach your full potential to the best of your ability.
Reading – Thomas’ Grandmother, Gill
May the strength of the wind and light of the sun, the softness of the rain and the mystery of the moon, reach you and fill you.
May beauty delight you and happiness uplift you.
May wonder fulfil you and love surround you
May your step be steady and your arm be strong
May your heart be peaceful and your word be true
May you seek to learn, may you learn to live
May you live to love and may you love always.
Family and friends, may your future with this family be filled with happiness and the delight that Thomas has already brought. May the joy that you hold in your hearts today, remain with you forever.