I think it is easy to somehow feel your kids will be carbon copies of you when they come out. I can’t imagine having a really cool jock for a kid for example. I mean how would that happen? However, it is dawning on me that yes indeed the little people David and I are helping to bring into the world are going to be individuals. I don’t say this to ride the individualism train that fuels our society. I certainly don’t want an “Indigo Child” ( if you have never heard of indigo children please look that up and be disgusted as I was – it seems it is basically parents who refuse to discipline, claiming that the fact their kids are brats just means they are special, like x men, a misunderstood leap forward in evolution. I am really glad when I was teaching no parent tried to use this term in a conference, I might have just quite right there). But the bible says I have to train my children up in the way they should go, not the way I would go or want them to go, but they have a path and purpose designed for them by their creator.
If we can tell anything about her personality now, I would have to guess Leia is an extrovert. She loves being around people and seems to really thrive on being in group settings. She is always so happy at care group for instance, which keeps her up way past her bedtime and should be overstimulating, but she never seems to fuss there, on the contrary she loves it. I am definitely not an extrovert. So I have been thinking about what that means for me as a parent. How do I help her flourish when I may be pretty different than her in that respect. It’s a pretty critical part of your personhood. And for any future introverted kids I have, how do I help them escape the pitfalls of being an introvert while nurturing the strong points of being an introvert? I really wish I hadn’t been such a loner at many points in my life so I don’t want to make my introvert kids uncomfortable, but I want them to live without fear too.
I have always wondered about introducing our kids to the things we love. I will admit I am nervous. I almost named this post “What if she doesn’t like Star Wars?” but I don’t want to even entertain that idea (or perhaps even worse she loves Jar Jar Binks – this is why we will have a strict episodes 4-6 only policy in place when our kids are young and then when less impressionable they can watch the apocryphal episodes 1-3, well maybe not 1 maybe they could always live blissfully unaware of phantom menace) Since her name is Leia it would really behoove her to become a fangirl and go with it.
There are so many things we love that she might not. The story of Anne Shirley is imprinted on my heart. We went to Prince Edward Island on our honeymoon because I love her so much. What if my daughters just aren’t into it? There are so many things we love they could just not like. Part of that comes with the Geek territory, to be a geek is to love things deeply, so much so that you go to conventions and collect things and could even be talked into wearing a costume to the right event.
On the flip side of this coin, I get to meet these wonderful individuals and watch as their loves unfold. Can’t wait to find out what Leia likes besides bananas and binkies. What a privilege that God would trust us with a person he lovingly designed and has plans for. What a responsibility to not be selfish and to let them be who God wants them to be and trust His will and design for their life. Parenthood is such a test of my faith and love for God. Talk about your treasure being where you heart is, there is nothing I could imagine treasuring more than Leia, but if I want to love her well and help her grow and flourish, if I want my nurturing to be life giving rather than stifling I have to love God more, I have to trust God with her life and not try to control it or manipulate it. She is designed in his image not mine.
Incidentally, I am so glad I can trust him with her life, because seriously I have never noticed more grace than with him helping me insure a toddler survives! So many moments I turn my head and she takes a tumble or almost puts something in her mouth (once she even got her little finger to pry open the front door and was headed out onto the porch!) and I just know that I am not the only one watching her thank goodness!!