by: Michael Area
“It’s exhausting,” my high school small group leader and mentor, Matt said over the phone about raising children when we talked a couple of years ago. Oh yeah, you get a few hours less of sleep per night and when they’re toddlers they talk and run around and are hard to keep up with, I remember thinking. Plus, he started when in his early forties so more exhausting for him maybe. It won’t be all that hard.
Being fully prepared for parenthood is like being fully prepared for marriage or even fully prepared for skydiving for the first time. It doesn’t happen. You can read all the books and listen to all kinds of great advice, and it may help, but the actual experience is like nothing else. I’m sure that AC would agree with me. In addition to being actually, really, physically exhausting due to lack of sleep, it is frustrating and uncertain and scary and awesome.
I would not trade it for anything. My heart is full and my mind races with all the things we’ll do together later in life. I want to teach him everything and yet nothing because what he’ll learn on his own will be infinitely more valuable than anything I try to teach. I feel a sudden and desperate need to better understand what it means to be a good steward. There is a little person that is utterly dependent on me and Whitney.
If that’s not scary, I don’t know what is. It’s crazy to think about him as a grown person, particularly when his dad is still has so much room to grow.
What will he be like? What will be his talents? How can I best encourage him? How can I refrain from filling his head with things to unlearn later (good idea, Rob Bell)?
Whitney and I are so fortunate to have several friends that have newborns as well. The gifts, advice, and assistance are unbelievable and overwhelming. How great is it to be able to share the same chapters of life with good friends? I’m not sure if there is anything better. Seeing so many happy healthy babies around is, for lack of better words, wonderful and beautiful. What did we ever do to deserve such blessing?
The past six weeks have been exhausting and amazing. Part of me wants him to be a baby (well, one that sleeps though the night!) for a long time and another part of me can’t wait to see him grow and see what the future holds. The future looks bright. And I am grateful beyond measure.