April 13, 2011

April 13th, 2011 Part II

Dear Sofia,

I have nothing new, unique, trenchant or sentimental to say today. Sometimes it's as though you're in my thoughts so much, to write about you is redundant. At least to me.

You are at home today with Daddy, listening to the moonlight sonata playlist he made for you and grinning every time the cat saunters by. I can just see you - the sunlight streaming in the office window on the back of your strawberry-golden hair, your head bent down studying the contours of a toy. I wonder if I spent time like this with my dad in his office when I was a little one, he grading papers while I wrangled some primary-colored plastic links? The symmetry is worth pondering...

Your mind must be swirling these days with all the newness you've been experiencing: touching tree bark, smelling the spring air, hearing birds chirp and seeing squirrels hopping across the lawn. You don't smile at these things, you study them. Well, sometimes you smile. You certainly did when we went on the swing together yesterday. Your giggle is infectious, by the way.

Daddy asked me, what do I think it's like to encounter all the things of the world for the first time? Big question. I know what it was like to encounter newness as an adult, one who is used to ignoring most of the world as it passes by (or, at least trying best to do so). But through the eyes of a child? I don't know. It's not a question of just seeing, but the entirety of the experience. I don't know, but I wish I did.

Is it wrong to live vicariously through your children? I think no, in most circumstances. And besides, a parent can't help but do it.

We heard a song yesterday morning about not wanting to "go through the motions." Most songs of this genre have pretty typical evangelical wording, which gets generalized for the sake of radio-friendliness. This one followed suit, but the chorus gave me pause: "I don't want to go through the motions," the singer sang. It made me think of you and how easy it is to do what you're "supposed to" as a parent. Start solid foods at X months, wean off pacifiers and rocking to sleep at Y months, encourage self-sufficient playtime at Z months. When is one told to begin telling a child about the Lord? Or to start reading the Word to her? If new parents are inclined to follow the typical advice, they may miss many chances to build up that knowledge.

I will try my best not to go through the motions with you, Sofia. I will try to remember God in everything I do, reiterate that He lights my path (and darkens it, for His purposes). I will take time with you, answering your questions about Him as best I can. I will examine my mind and heart carefully, and lead both by example and by verbal dispensation of the truth.

Hmm... Maybe I had something to say after all?

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