Monday, April 11, 2011

Operating Instructions

I just finished reading Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son's First Year by Anne Lamott this morning. Fabulous book, and it got me thinking...

In it, the author is determined (in a funny way, not too much a scary way) to instill in her son from infancy the political ideals that she holds to. She whispers her liberal rhetoric in his ears as he sleeps and nurses. She thinks she will turn him into a brilliant opposition leader someday.

In a similar way, having a kid reminds of the feeling I would get every time I moved schools when I was a kid (which was a LOT): I could start over completely and be whomever I wanted to be! I could re-invent myself as something different than I was before! Of course, this never really worked out for me. I was always the nerdy, funny, slightly off-kilter redhead, no matter where I went. But the feeling was there...this infinite power in my grasp to remold myself and change my destiny. There is a little piece of me that feels that sense of power when I think about Calvin and how I can mold him into who I want him to be.

Then again, I've seen enough to realize that this won't necessarily work out for me, either. Just because I want Calvin to have his dad's smarts and my sense of humor, and to inherit easy-going ways from both his parents, well...that's not necessarily how this all works! I get that.

But I also know that there are some things that I wish Calvin to know and grasp right out of the hopper. For instance, I want him to know his Creator. I want him to know that life is not about rules and regulations, but about loving God and loving people in ways both tangible and intangible. I want him to have great faith and great humor in equal quantities so that he can deal with devastating blows as they come, because I know they will. I want him to really know these things in a way that effects the way he thinks and makes decisions and lives his entire life.

How this all shakes out, of course, remains to be seen. Perhaps I should be praying for that great faith and great humor in equal quantities as I raise my son. I think I'm going to need them!

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Just In Time

Hubs and I have got about 13 weeks, give or take, until we are officially parents of an official out-in-the-world baby. The thought takes my breathe away (maybe half from awe and half from hyperventilation)!

Because our little bebe has pretty developed hearing these days, I've decided to read out loud to him in the mornings from this great little book called The Jesus Story Book Bible. This is the mother of all children's bibles and every time I read a story from it, I cry and remember all the wonderful things God has done. It is perfect in its simplicity, and profound in its childlike wording.

The other day I read the story of Abraham and Isaac. For those of you not familiar, you might not see why I was dreading reading this story, so I will recap. Abraham is chosen by God to be the father of the nation of Israel, God's special covenant people. He promises to make Abraham's line great in number and in standing. To this end, God grants Abraham and his wife Sarah little boy, even though they are both in their 90s! Then God asks Abraham the sacrifice his son Isaac on an altar. In the end, Abraham's willingness was enough and God spared Isaac and gave the pair a ram to sacrifice instead as an offering to Him.

As you might imagine, reading about sacrificing one's only son is a little traumatizing for a pregnant lady. But the part that struck me in the story was that God provided an alternative sacrifice "just in time".

Sometimes I feel like God is doing everything "just in time", keeping everyone biting their fingernails on the edge of their seats seeing if He will come through. But the older I get, I realize that God does all things in HIS time, and that it is perfect. It isn't sliding into home plate just before the ball hits, or getting back to your car just as the cop takes out his pen for your ticket. It's PERFECT timing, considering all possible iterations in the universe (He is God, after all).

That just made me feel a lot better about becoming a parent, for some reason. I didn't get pregnant by accident...God gave me a baby and He gave my baby ME as a mom. I have a wonderful Father who has provided me and will continue provide me with everything that I need, just in time.