As Father’s Day approaches this year, it seems like a good time to reflect on my first full year of fatherhood.
Wow, what a ride! It may sound like a cliché, especially to you non-parents out there, but becoming a parent has been a life-changing experience like none other. My little guy, Max, just turned 1 at the end of last month and it already seems like he’s growing up so fast (I know- another cliché).
We have been blessed with a very well-behaved baby (from what we’re told). Aside from when Sarah had to wake him up in the night to feed him, he has almost always slept completely through the night. The first few months were the most worrisome for me, as I tend to worry a lot, and I always had to check him to make sure he was still breathing (by staring intently at his chest in a dimly lit room). However, I should have known better than to worry about such a God-given natural thing like breathing. Thankfully, as I got more used to having another life in the room with us (that’s where he spent the first few months), I gradually got more comfortable with his ability to inhale and exhale while sleeping.
In fact, I have had to tell myself many times to just “keep calm and talk to God” whenever I thought of worst case scenarios. This truth that is described in Philippians 4:6-7, which became my life verses a few years ago, is even more prevalent as a parent.
As he moved into his own room around 5-6 months old, that was the first big step. You would have thought he was going off to college considering how big of a deal it was for us. I’m sure our next baby will likely not spend so many months in our room, if at all, but with Max being our first we really wanted him to be near us. And since he was such a good sleeper, it’s not like he kept us up at night.
Max is a lot of fun. He’s now at the age of not wanting to be held as much, choosing instead to crawl around and get into stuff all the time. At almost 13 months he’s very close to walking, but still very careful and chooses to drop down and crawl whenever there’s nothing or no one to hold onto. He’s developed such a funny little sense of humor with hilarious mannerisms. Even though he’s not yet talking, we always know what he wants or how he’s doing. My favorite thing now is to give him a bottle just so he’ll lay peacefully in my lap like he did before he was so “independent.”
I was told this ahead of time, but the last year has been confirmation that being a parent is all about putting someone else’s needs above my own. It’s the ultimate act of selflessness. I pray by God’s grace that Sarah and I can give Max the love he requires in the years to come, just as we have in the first year, especially as our family grows and he becomes an older brother.
In today’s culture I have heard people come up with many reasons to not bring children into this world. But let me assure you the joy of a child far outweighs those negatives. I know we won’t be able to protect him from all the evil that is out there, and like everyone else will undoubtedly face hardships and heartache. However, my hope is in the promises of a sovereign and loving God that works all things out for the good of those who love Him, and are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28).