My wife is twenty-four weeks pregnant. Yes, I’m going to be a dad. In just a few short months, a tiny human will be hanging out with my wife and me in our little unit inside of a quadplex in St. Charles. This is our life. This is really happening.
So far I can recall three occasions during our pregnancy when this imminent reality punched me in the face. The first was when I came home from work and Rebecca showed me the positive pregnancy test. It was quite the surprise! I can’t remember my exact feelings, but there was certainly a mixture of shock, excitement, and indeed, complete bewilderment at how our, ahem, calculations for avoiding such a scenario were so off. But we couldn’t deny the pink line staring us in the face. (It wasn’t even a slightly faded pink line; it was a full on solid dark you’re-definitely-preggers pink line.)
The second occasion was when I felt our baby “kick.” Aside from seeing Rebecca’s tummy getting a little bigger (in a cute and beautiful way!), for me it was the first time that having a baby went from an idea to a tangible, physical reality. Gasp! There’s really a person in there!
And of course, the third occasion was when we went to get the ultrasound. We saw our rambunctious bundle of joy moving around on screen like Tarzan in the jungle, not stopping for a millisecond. It took forever for our doctor to get any decent pictures. In addition to seeing an actual tiny body, that was the day we found out that we’re having a girl. We were able to start saying “she” and “her.” We started seriously considering girl names. It became all the more real.
Planning for a child puts a lot of things in perspective. It’s weighty. It will be a lot of work. Rebecca and I will be giving up a lot of our money, privacy, and sleep. But more than that, there is a great spiritual weight as well. God is entrusting to our care His precious daughter. Indeed, she is our daughter too, but we will be raising her to be His daughter. We will be teaching her His ways, not only through instruction, but most importantly by how we live our lives as her parents.
Will I be a role model worth following? Will my life inspire my daughter to pursue a deep, intimate relationship with HaShem? Will she be able to see and appreciate the immeasurable and eternal value of biblical things so that she’ll want to pass it all on to her own children someday?
I hope so.
I know I’m not the only expectant parent to ask themselves these questions. We all want to give our kids a good life. And especially as believers, we know that the key to true joy and fulfillment in this life comes only through knowing HaShem. We as parents have a duty to facilitate an environment in which our kids can know God and receive true joy through a relationship with Him. It starts at home. It starts with us.