It's the middle of the early morning - 3:30am. The power is out and I'm listening to my 18 day old daughter breathe while she sleeps. There are no other noises in my house to distract me because the power is out. I can't see her face because there is no light and storms are approaching so it's covering the full moon that's supposed to be out tonight. All I can hear is her breathing. I become aware of the beautiful sound of a newborn's sounds: an occasional coo, a little stir, a slight snort from some small object in her nose or nasal passage and the quiet consistency of her breath. Life couldn't be more simple than this.
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Dreams For My Daughter
As I listen to her breathe, she calms my own breathing, brings me to peace and I become thankful for the simple things of life. This moment, holding my little girl, I become aware of the dreams I have for my daughter. As I close my eyes and hear her breathe, I begin to think on all of the things we're going to experience together. I get a new start at being a dad. I hear from my friends that being a dad to a girl is totally different than fathering sons. So, I'm interested to see the differences. For sure, I'll post my experiences in this blog of fathering a daughter.
What does God have planned for this little one? I can only live in the now and experience it day by day, one moment at a time. Some days, I will only hold her for a few minutes. Other days, I may hold her and play with her for hours.
I dream of being present in my daughter's life. I want to just be there - active and engaged and interested in her life. I dream of the moments when my daughter is 3 or 4 and telling her she is beautiful as she is doing her hair or after she's gotten dressed. I want to tell her she is beautiful all the time. I want her to know she is loved and that she has such high worth in my life.
A friend told me yesterday that Mom's give value to their children and Dad's give identity to them. (That's an interesting blog post alone and maybe I'll write about that sometime) I'm asking God now what identity will I give my daughter. I pray I will make choices that will help her have an identity that is healthy emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually. Spiritually, her identity is in Christ and that she sees a small picture of her heavenly Father in me, her earthly one. I hope she will rest easy in who God made her. I see her having tremendous potential and giftings and talents. I see her being talented and gifted musically. Her hands and fingers are unusually long compared to most newborns I've seen. Maybe God made her to play piano and pursue music? We'll see, but I want to encourage her in the desires of her heart and in the calling in her spirit. I want to help her identify it and pursue it. It's my job to help her as she grows in her journey of faith - to help her identify who she is, who God made her to be and what vocation she should choose.
At the same time, it's not my job to pressure her to perfection. It should not be a burden on her. It should be easy and light - just as Christ's burden is light and His yoke is easy. She is loved as she is and in what she eventually chooses. I can't make her do something she's not ready to do or doesn't want to do. I'm not going to push her, if anything, I'm going to lead her. I'm going to lovingly serve her and lead her in the direction we both know she is to go.
It will be an interesting ride. Rather than plan out her entire life, I think I'll just enjoy the moment for now. I will get caught up in her breathing. I will be thankful for her right now. I will be present with her now. I will focus on making a connection with her. I think I see her smiling at me and recognizing me and beginning to know me.
I can't help but think that's really what my heavenly Father wants from me - to be known. He wants me to draw closer to Him. As I do, I will do the same with my little Anthem. That's about all I need to for now. I can handle that.