You Were Given Something Special

You knew it that day in the hospital. You felt it the first time they threw their arms around you. You are reminded of it every time they do something decent and kind and good.

You were given something very special. You have been entrusted with something very special. A bundle of genes and circumstances that will never exist ever again in history, that’s never ever existed before–something, someone totally unique and wonderful. Someone with gifts, someone with something to offer, someone who needs to be protected, taught and helped to become everything they’re meant to be.

Ok…so why are you being so short with them? Why are you complaining? Why are you treating them like a doll or a prop (as we’ve talked about)? Why are you trying to make them into something you want them to be? Why are you quibbling over little things here and there, arguing over this and that? Why are you prioritizing stuff over them? Why are you gone so much? Why are you making them feel like there’s something wrong with them for being different, for making mistakes, for not doing things as fast as you think they should? Why are you rushing them at all–why aren’t you soaking this in, enjoying the time you get while you get it?

What you felt that day in the hospital, what hits you in those moments around a campfire, overhearing them in the car, seeing them on stage in a school play, that was correct. You have been entrusted with something very, very special. The problem is that we seem to lose hold of that urgency, the obligation of that realization, and revert back to normal–as if we’ve just got a side hustle we’re taking care of.

No, as he says in The Road (one of the greatest parenting books ever written–grab one at The Painted Porch if you haven’t yet), we’ve been given a warrant (“If he is not the word of God,” he says of his son. “God never spoke.”) Let’s never forget that. Let’s act accordingly.

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