Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Where's the instructions?

I was at the birth of all three of our kids. I have to say that there is nothing more amazing and breathtaking as seeing a new life being born. It was one of those wow moments when your not even sure if your breathing because everything is focused on that little life.
With that being said, as we waited 16 hours for our first child to be born there was great anticipation and along with that came much apprehension. We looked forward to being parents but how do you really get prepared for such a thing. Read books- we did that. Listen to tapes-check!
Watch other parents and say, "We will never be like that and our kids will never act like that!". (note to self) Never and I repeat NEVER say that again!
I wish there was a simple follow by numbers chart/plan that you could use in raising children but there isn't. Well there is, but I really don't see how they can work because each child is different and each situation has it's own special circumstances.
So how do you do it? Let me give you the advice that I received when I was in the delivery room catching the first one. After he was born (you know the whole, "Hey there's his head", then "Hey where did it go" then, "There it is again" then "Poof it's gone again.") Fast forward, now we have a head but man I sure hope he's not broad shouldered!
Finally with one final push that equals the force of an earth moving machine, pop! Out he comes. So I'm standing down with the doctor in absolute amazement, the nurse takes our son over to a table to clean him up and weigh him. I looked over again thinking "Did this just happen?" I mean I have seen it on National Geographic, but dude this was right before my very eyes. There he was all wrinkly and covered with, well I'm sure you get the picture, they had just squirted him with I think soft scrub to clean him up. They were getting ready to bring him over to my wife so she could hold him, as I stood waiting for some instruction on what to do next. The doctor asked me to move over because I was, in his words, "hogging the light", I said to him, "Doc, something is missing". Note to self-do not say these kind of things to a doctor after he has delivered a child and is holding a sharp cutting type of utensil!
He said (with what I might add a not so inviting tone) "What do you mean something is missing?" I said, "Doc, I have put many a shed together, toys,erector sets and yes even swing sets, each time there was an instruction book or paper included telling me how to properly assembly the item." I looked intently at the doctor and I looked even harder from where my son had appeared and saw nothing. I said "Doc, where's the instructions? You know the instructions, the raising kid instructions." I mean I saw my son, I saw what followed, (description for another time), but no instructions. The doctor went over to the nurse, took my son, walked back over and handed him to me and said, "Take him home and figure it out as you go." He then finished up what he was doing handed me a bill for his services and calmly walked out to go home to his 5 kids. No wonder he looks soooo worn out!
Figure him out as you go. What? Really? That's it? No once over like when you buy a car? No here are the features like you might be shown if you are buying a flat screen? Nope none of that.
I must say that was the best advice I have ever been given because what it caused us to do was to really figure him out as we went along.
Every child is different, that's how God made us. If we/they were all the same it would get really boring real fast. I know some of you are saying, give me boring, but really you would not want it that way.
Out job as parents is to discover the person inside that little body and to give it the much needed instruction and care necessary for them to face this world and not just get by, but to stand strong and reach their full potential.
More to come...

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