Little Ben and I just got back from a trip around the neighborhood. He was in the stroller, I was walking behind the stroller wheezing as I pushed it up the hills. He has been doing great, but both Jacqueline and I have realized that this parenting thing is certainly no “paint by numbers” game.
I guess coming into parenthood i had certain expectations. But like any relationship, what I am finding is that those expectations are not going to be correct, because there are other people involved. It’s not like a relationship with my computer. I wake up each morning to the same computer. It hasn’t grown, changed, had a bad night, or in any way pooped on itself. I enter in certain data, and I can expect certain results.
Not so with parenthood. Just because he slept 5-8 hours per night the first week we had him home from the hospital doesn’t mean he is going to do so the next week. We found this out. Does it mean that something is wrong? No. He’s not a computer that produces the same result every time you enter certain data. He’s a person. And he has good nights and bad nights.
It works the same way with Jesus (you knew some type of metaphor was coming… it was just a matter of time). He is a person (albeit a much more perfect person than my son), and so anytime I try to just plug in a formula—read two chapters a day, journal at least a page, and don’t drink too much beer—it doesn’t work, because that’s not love. Love is a relationship, and a choice. I am spending time with a person, not a machine.
Thanks, Jesus, for a little boy not sleeping through the night teaching me some lessons.