We may not like lacking control. We may want to control all that we have made. Yet be soothed: we get to experience what God experiences when our creations run free. For in the crucible of freedom is love.
Finn, today you enter a new year. A new year to see, through a one year old’s yes, what love looks like in freedom. Let’s love together. Let’s press more deeply in freedom, worrying less about other’s opinions of us and more about the great freedom God lives in.
We watched the clock today, remember what happened one year ago. How we were sleeping until Mom’s water broke at 8am. I don’t remember sleeping in that late since then. We watched the clock from 10am to noon when Mom wrestled, laboring in the tub. We noticed the clock move past 14:41, when Finn appeared in the world. We also noted on our clock how we went to bed early that birthday eve, how the nurse noticed Finn’s blueness and rushed him to the NICU. And so began the unexpected acts of creation and the graces splashed out along the way.
For this first birthday, Finn opened his presents from Aunt and Uncle and Grandma. And he even opened one that had no giver’s name.
On his first birthday, he fed himself with a spoon. Mom scooped the food, handed the spoon to Finn, and Finn turned it upside-down to slide it into his mouth.
On his first birthday, he began to ascend from his cold as I’m descending into it. All that lack of sleep and abundance of stress from the weekend weakened all of us. Finn and I played all morning till I was beat. Mom is also climbing out of her cold, more slowly.
On his first birthday, we discovered some our land plans will be approved. The county says they look good.
On his first birthday, we drove to the grocery store for peanut butter and orange juice.
On his first birthday, we practiced standing. But Finn didn’t take his first step. I predicted a month ago that Finn would walk before he was one. I was wrong. And that is my last insight for this blog: I’ve learned being a first year dad that nothing is predictable, each day is different, routines change, and the little guy surprises you with advances and setbacks. You never know what happens next.
“To create is precisely not to control.” This saying hangs on our wall in our bedroom. A continual reminder we live in a larger story.
Thanks, Readers, for taking the reading journey with us. For leaving your comments. For jumping into my rants and celebrations. For, most of all, relating.
Finn, this blog is a gift to you. It’s my version of a baby book. You probably won’t appreciate it until your wife is pregnant and you’re sitting on the bed together wondering, as we did, what the future will be like. And you’ll wonder, as we did, what our parents anticipated. And you’ll wonder, as we did, once your little one comes along, what you were like as a baby and how your baby will be like you. Grandma, who had been in heaven for over six years when you were born, kept a baby book for me. It was sparse and left open a lot of questions. But the treasures inside were still sweet. I wish Grandma were around to see you now. She’d be tickled with you.
Now begins another year.
I finished yesterday’s post with these words, “Tonight at midnight, the curtain falls on being a first year dad. Tomorrow a new chapter — a second year…”
Finn’s recorded journey in our family is not over. You’ll get to read more, if you like. Mom has already begun Second Year Mom. She won’t update daily, like I have (that would be crazy!). But she will update when she is not overwhelmed by other things. Her posts will be under 200 words. Her blog will be more like a journal conversation with Finn. So don’t expect to leave comments. And with that, I hand the story to her…