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Oh Baby

I didn't mean to scare anyone away from parenting, least of all <a href="http://valska.com/wp/">Joan</a>, whom I'm sure will make an excellent mother. But any parent who gets him or herself involved in bringing up a child will attest to the fact that child-rearing is the hardest thing in the world.
It is also the easiest.
You see, parenting is an incomprehensible paradox. In the last twelve months, Faith and I have found ourselves experiencing new degrees of anger, exploring unchartered waters of tiredness and bearing a burden that seemed more overwhelming than the weight of the world. In this time we have also been so utterly blessed by Anne's laughter and our days miraculously transformed by her smile.
Just the thought of her bare bottom scooting away to the far side of the bed while we scamper around trying to change her diaper brings out both frustrated furrowed brow and an odd fatherly smile on my face. Even my facial muscles are muddled.
Parenting is living life to the extreme. It widens the emotional gamut. It is no wonder many fathers choose to take a passive role – the constant energy you have to apply to a million different things (all the time changing) seems to be something women are better at. You don't <em>solve</em> a child. She is not something you fix. The solution you came up with to get her to sleep last week may not work this week. He may like pumpkin today but not tomorrow. You can't pass him on to the other project manager, or blame the vendor for shoddy work.
Despite the uncertainties, you will find some things certain when it comes to parenting.God gives grace. It's amazing how fast you turn to God when you're sleep deprived and the miniature drill sergeant doesn't let up on making you perform endless aerobic tasks like bouncing up and down on a gym ball. In all honesty there were so many times I wondered if I'd ever see the silver lining / light at the end of the tunnel. And then last night when Anne crawled over, planted her slobbering lips on my cheek and gave me the biggest smile, it's <strong>all</strong> silver lining. You'll learn to appreciate Shakespeare's description of mercy, that it "falls like gentle rain from heaven".
There is no greater tag-team effort than parenting. I learned over the past year that I married the perfect wife. Not Stepford wife perfect – Faith is even better than that. It seems whenever I am at my wit's end Faith's cheer remains dauntless and inpenetrably buoyant. And then there'd be times she gets frustrated with Anne; and oddly enough those are the times I feel idiotically upbeat. It is the perfect meshing for which I am so very thankful; that God gives us each enough that parenting is the total team effort – totally exhausting, totally rewarding and totally dependent on God's providence.
So in Mac's Switch advertising campaign style:
My name is Lucian. I am a parent. I do not know when my next good night's sleep will be. But I have seen for myself that I can trust God to give us what we need.
I also know that in all probability I will forget what I've learned about trusting God, which is why parenting is a lifelong lesson with no quick-fix solution. Because we all need the daily reminder that He is there for us.

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