Our second grandson, Reed, came into the world about two-and-a-half weeks ago. As far as I know (and I think I’d know), his parents have been blessed with relative normalcy. Of course, they’re on the steep part of the learning curve so even the routine can be challenging and at times intimidating, but still, things are going well. Mother and son came home together after two nights in the hospital. Her mother stayed with them for about a week after that (and I’m sure was an enormous help). Dad has been tailoring his work schedule to be available wherever he is needed. And this past weekend, three very proud aunts went to see him (and go to Spring Sing as long as they were in town). No, it seems to me that everything has been going according to schedule.
Not that I didn’t expect it to, but while we were all at the hospital a nurse came in to give Reed’s mother and father some instructions for when they took him home. She covered everything that could possibly go wrong and then a few things I’d never even heard of. After she left, I told my son that if she had given that talk to his mother and I before we started our family he probably wouldn’t be here! I know the nurse was just (over)doing her job and erring on the side of caution, but it seemed to me like she was on the far side of the Grand Canyon.
Mom and dad seemed unfazed by it all—which I took as a very good sign. I have no doubt they’ll be great parents and find the equilibrium between protecting and preparing Reed. It can be a delicate balancing act at times; we’re obviously not to prepare our children in any way that would endanger them, but it’s no good to protect them in such a way that leaves them unprepared for following Jesus in the real world. We have to find something in the middle and that can be difficult at times.
For example, I can recall some occasions when my son played sports and I thought he had been treated unfairly by a coach or received a bad call from an umpire. I would stifle the urge to intervene by reminding myself that nothing had approached a level justifying my involvement in such an overt (and as far as my kids were concerned, obnoxious and embarrassing) manner. Of course, we would talk about the situation on the way home. But I always wondered about the parents who complained about every perceived injustice—what were they teaching their children in terms of coping skills? Let’s face it, whether we’re talking about sports or life, learning how to make the best of a less than totally fair situation is the stuff of everyday life be it a work situation, making your way home through traffic, or watching your kids play at the ballpark. Of course, there were a few times my emotions got the better of me and I found myself impulsively yelling at a referee or an umpire, but we don’t need to get into that here . . .
But there’s absolutely nothing impulsive in saying this: welcome Reed to this wonderful adventure known as life. May our Father richly bless you on this amazing journey as He has your grandparents and your parents.