Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Babies Are Hard Work! The Annabelle Train Is Coming! ….A Miracle To Be Cherished!

Even before Annabelle arrives as a real live person at birth, we have been preparing for what seems like months for her. Getting her nursery ready and having all the necessary baby products prepped becomes all-encompassing in terms of the time commitments to come. After moving into a new bigger apartment, my Dad spent hours with Lisa assembling all box-ready-made nursery furniture delivered from Graco’s manufacturer lines. My Mom also worked extensively cleaning and organizing our new home to make sure it was spotless and ready for our little baby girl. 

However upon her delivery, I cannot help but think there will be an experienced pride and joy unlike any feeling ever before encountered in my existence. I am trying to mitigate my own expectations without really trying to expect anything in my own preconceived notions. In other words, our preconceptions can sometimes disappoint us or maybe, on the other hand, even exceed our expectations. I personally think it is best to enjoy each moment coming without preparing too much for the future. One cannot imagine the arrival of a firstborn child. One can only embrace it with the immaculate conception of a child of God coming to their earthly home.  

While I am not the usual person with a type one personality to let go of life so easily, I think the approach to letting go and trusting makes raising children more blessed. When consumed by worries that typically no one has control over, the gratefulness to simply have a beautiful child can be overlooked by focusing on the things that never will be. Sometimes we give the most attention to those thoughts and things that absorb all our energies to zap the good that remains before our very own eyes in the present. There is good in the creation that we currently stand in, and a child is no miracle that should easily be taken for granted or overlooked by anxious afterthoughts. A child is a miracle meant to be cherished. And that is the reality that parents should focus on most.  

(*Many thanks to Ysabella Jones for the wonderful portrait session.)

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Fatherhood Folklore and Urban Myths – What’s True?

This past weekend my wife, Lisa, celebrated two wonderful baby shower events with friends and family who blessed us with an insurmountable number of gifts to prep for Annabelle’s arrival. Thank you to everyone who contributed to these two delightful occasions!   

Let me tell you what I found out through these experiences – many will provide an opinion and advice on how to raise a baby in a thousand different ways with a thousand methods on how to do every single action, however some close friends and family members offer this information in love.
Occasionally I still hear individuals contribute the old southern sayings of “ball and chain” and life, as we know it, “coming to an end,” as if having a child is some grand tragedy. In my world, it seems that some couples take these mottos to heart. I think some individuals truly fail to realize how these negative phrases might influence new parents and their own nervous feelings before a baby is delivered as a newborn beautiful creation of God.

While reorganizing some budgetary monthly decisions, I recently met Jared, a manager for the local Regions bank branch in Franklin, Tennessee and a proud father of two children. Last year Jared took both his kids, less than five years old, to Iceland, where they climbed glaciers together as a family. He is also currently planning a trip to Argentina where I would imagine some of the same adventures will occur. Honestly, I feel sorry for the parents who truly think kids become a burden that then ends their passions, dreams, and goals. Annabelle will not be the reason I quit on my adventures. She will be the reason I strive for them. She is not the end of my life. She is a new beginning.  

Like I said before, everyone these days has an opinion about something. I hope that Annabelle does not end my desired destinations but rather gives me one more precious person to share them with. First adventure before birth, we are moving to Knoxville, Tennessee, where we will cheer on our new hometown team, the Tennessee Volunteers. Close by with summits to climb and forests to explore, The Great Smokey Mountains National Park and Appalachian Trail are calling our names! And together to search those very same mountains, rivers, and trails, we must go!