I love MY BABIES. “But you don’t have children”, you say. I know. But I still have babies.
I always thought I would have children of my own, but that never happened. It’s OK….I was never traumatized as a result. God gave me lots of babies in my family and among my close friends, so that I was able to spend large quantities of time with them. More than the average parent, even if I never got the quality time that only taking on the full responsibility of parenthood brings. Still, it was pretty darn good. A lot of joy. You should rejoice with what you have been given, and I do. It’s been rather nice.
As a result, I have been able to see a lot of “my babies” grow up. Some have seemed to coast through, much going their way, the harder stuff seeming like water off a duck’s back. It’s easy to cheer them on, and there is a lot to cheer for. The maturity they develop at young ages is awe-inspiring. Their commitment to people, to causes they believe in, to making themselves a person of great purpose….I wonder “How and when did you learn all of this?” It makes me proud.
Others have struggled, gone through some rough patches but risen above it all into stability. With them you feel like you are watching the toddler walk. You know you can’t keep holding their arm and supporting them if you want them to get their equilibrium, but you watch on pins and needles. When they figure it all out, and walk and then run, you realize you had been holding your breathe the whole time. You release it with a grateful “Whoosh!”
And then there are those who continue to struggle, appearing to run into walls and furniture constantly. You can see that their eyes are closed. You tell them that opening their eyes would make it easier, but they defiantly keep them shut. You learn to watch them with mixed feelings – hoping they arise from the ashes, but sometimes doubting their ability to do so. Your prayers for them become a mixture of “Lord change their hearts” to “Lord, put every possible obstacle in their way so they stay on the right path.”
Wherever they are dealing with, all of these babes…and if you have known them all of their lives they will in some ways always be your babies….keep a piece of your heart. In your mind you are still cuddling their sweetness close to you. You’re still promising to do all you can to guide and protect them. You want your life to reflect goodness, love, and impeccable character. You would still lay down your life for theirs because you want them to live an even longer and happier life than you have. You take great joy when you suspect they do….because you know that isn’t easy. You work to keep that bar high.
While babies depend on others for everything, there comes a time where you have to let them find their own way. Live the promise you know awaits them. Take their place on the road of life and grow up. Accept responsibility and become adults. That’s healthy….that’s the way it should be. There is no less delight than watching them in their infancy.
It breaks my heart that all babies are not welcomed into a world where they have two parents, and a whole community of others, completely and absolutely in love with them even before they make their entrance into this world. Delighting at their first steps and first words and oh-so-profound first thoughts. I would add every single one of these babies to my brood if I could. But to those who I have been able to share over the years, know you will always have an extra measure of love from me and a lot of prayers on your behalf. Near or far, we are connected forever, because you are my babies and you are dearly and devotedly loved!