As summer continues to fly by, we had the joy of having Cara's sister and husband and 8 month old come for a couple day visit.
It was nice to just spend the time together, and seeing who could stare at the baby the longest :).
One of the thoughts that struck me, as the little one is in the midst of dealing with some kinda allergic reaction or something that has given her a nasty rash and itch over most of her body, is how alarming a babies cry sounds when they are distressed. It feels soooo bad to not be able to do anything to help.
It made me recall a time when I had just become a Christian and was involved in the preschool area of our church. It was a wonderful minstry to come on Sunday's with the simple mission of "just love on the kids". As much as I love my present ministry position, I think back to the days when that was what ministry was about, just that. But I rabbit track... onto the point... one of the little boys in that class back then I took a real liking to, and I recall vividly an incident when we went to the gym to play and he got clunked in the face with a ball and his nose started bleeding and he started crying. *I* started crying feeling so bad that I "let" something happen that he got hurt in, but it was a cool incident, in that from it, I learned one of many parental type lessons I have learned since then.
First, Asm the adult, I can't always stop the child from getting hurt, but I CAN always be there to provide love and comfort, and what a cool way to let someone know they are loved than in a time when they most need it.
Second, As the adult, I can take control of the situation and although you can't stop every hurt, but you can be in control and deal with the consequences, panicking isn't gonna help! I hope I remember this during the "up for 4 nites, baby screaming, tried everything we can and have no idea what to do next" moments to just stay calm and just do what you can.
Third, the protective parent role is sooo essential in todays' harsh world. With the abuse, kidnappings, bullying, violent exposures , dangerous environments(drugs, gangs etc) that kids are exposed to at such a young age, parents NEED to be more proactive in guarding children. I don't think I will have too much trouble with this role, the danger for me will be doing it too much.
*Story comes to mind of the time just a few years ago in Calgary at my Vietnamese church I served in, where, in the middle of me running a youth group service I stopped preaching part way through and ended up putting a 22 year old youth(who came in as a "visitor") in a headlock and "escorting" him out of the church because he kept hitting on one of my "kids" who was only 15 at the time. I need to mention the youth scoffed at my polite attempts to get him to back off that I tried earlier, so this wasn't a first response reaction. But my beloved Viet. flock knew they were safe and how much they were(and still are)loved.
Heh, anyhow, can't get too focussed on my "first" Asian kids too much, miss them too much, and man are they growing up quick!!!
Oh one final thought on babies crying and parental reactions... my wife is gonna be a wonderfully caring mother, the love, care and concern she has for ANY one who is hurting, but particularly babies, is amazing. She will provide a wonderful balance of love to my analytical response(What is making her cry, let's run through the possibilities...)and problem solving reaction(after all if you can figure out the problem you address WHY she is crying, and you solve the problem, thus showing concern and love). But sometimes you just need someone to give ya a hug...Cara will be amazing at that,along with so many other things!