I sometimes write things down and choose not to share them publicly. Then, sometime later, I find these writings and decide that it's okay to share them now. Since Abby just celebrated her third birthday, I thought I'd turn back the clock and look at my reflections on her first birthday. This was shortly after Hannah and I found out that we were pregnant with Lukas, but before we knew he would be a boy and before we shared the news with our families.
October 3, 2012
Abigail turned 1 on September 30, and that makes me think back on my first year of parenting. I’m still very new to this.
I remember when Abby was born that I was in the middle of my Biblical Interpretation class. I held her in one of the hospital’s cozy chairs while I finished up a chapter. Schooling hasn’t been the same since. I suppose part of growing up is the addition of more and more responsibilities. When I was in school I found the pressures of homework, sports, and chores to be overwhelming. Now I look back and shake my head at all the time I wasted while complaining about how much I had to do.
Perhaps it was Abigail’s early exposure to books that has turned her into a little book worm over these past 12 months. The six-hour car ride up to Michigan was fairly pleasant in part because she was able to entertain herself for upwards of fifteen minutes at a time paging back and forth through her books. Hannah and I like to read to her even if the content is a little repetitive for us. We hope that our love for reading will transfer to her and someday we’ll be able to take her through The Chronicles of Narnia, Fig Pudding, Mystery of the Pirate’s Ghost, and other stories we enjoyed as kids. Given that she will pull her books out and page through them herself without any prompting from us, I’m sure we’ll enjoy those books and who knows, maybe even travel to Middle Earth together.
On Monday, October 1, just a day after her birthday, Abigail was playing in my parent’s living room and managed to close a folding chair on her hand. Both she and the chair fell over before anyone could grab her and we could see that her ring finger on her left hand was bleeding. I got a cold wet washcloth and put it over her hand. Her fingernail had ripped off.
There’s a lot of panic squeezed into the moment you find out your child is hurt. Until the extent of the damage is known your heart is gripped by fear and uncertainty. In the long scheme of things a torn off fingernail is not the end of the world. But it still hurts in real time, and it’s difficult to describe how that hurt is transferred to a parent’s heart as they cradle a crying, hurting child in their arms. It’s similar to the physical sensation you get riding a roller coaster just before the big drop. You feel something rise in your chest, only it doesn’t drop until the crying stops and the Band-Aid is applied and mommy tells her little girl that everything is going to be okay.
I still feel reverberations of that roller coaster feeling just thinking about what happened. It’s scary. Abigail has pretty much forgotten it. The next morning when she saw the folding chair she got all excited, smiled really big, and stretched out her hand toward it. She was shaking, she was so excited. I’m glad that she’s okay. There are going to be a lot of hurts in life and Hannah and I won’t always be there to hold her until the pain subsides. But God will. And I’m thankful to have a heavenly Father who is always there for me, even when I don’t realize how He’s working. My prayer for Abigail is that she will get to experience that same comfort from God as well.