Today is a very important day in the Coote household. Nine years ago we were given a very precious gift from Abba Father. I can still remember that day like it was yesterday. I was staying with my parents because well, babies are unpredictable and if he decided to come in the middle of the night we would have access to a car.
As I write this I
realize the irony of that statement: my father was at work, my mother was in
town, one of my aunts was painting the outside wall of the house and Marco was
back home getting ready for work. I was tired so I lay across the foot of my
parents’ bed and went to sleep. I’m not sure why I was in that room … I only
remember that I woke up because I felt an urgent need to use the bathroom but
before I could make it off the bed – there it was (today my son still loves
that bed more than any other, hmmm….)
It took a few seconds but I eventually realized I had not peed the bed – my water had broken. I called my Mom and Marco and let them know what was happening. Both of them took a taxi towards me and the race began (I completely forgot about my aunt on the outside of the house). Marco won the race.
The taxi came and Marco rushed up the stairs for me. He grabbed the hospital bag and ran back down the stairs. I stood at the top of the stairs amused; I thought this only happened in the movies.
“Oh Marco,” I called, “Aren’t you forgetting something?”
He looked up at me from the car. “What?” he asked.
He came back for me and we were off to the hospital but not before we stopped to pick up my friend on the way.
I know what you’re thinking: “Weren’t you in pain?” The truth is I wasn’t. I was able to get to the hospital, call my team at work, speak with my parents and other family members, call my nurse … even when they gave me the drip I didn’t start feeling any pain. Now Jamaicans have a saying that you can’t have baby without pain so there was no lovely epidural in my future. But- God was good and I felt maybe 20 minutes of pain (that part thankfully is very foggy in the memory). I remember the nurse telling me that I had a son and that I should look at him. I looked. My heart melted and I checked him over: two eyes, two ears, one mouth, two lips, one nose, ten fingers, eleven toes…. Let’s count that again – ten toes. He was beautiful.
Now we wouldn’t have to worry anymore about him… how wrong we were. In time we came to understand Elizabeth Stone’s quote: “Making the decision to have a child - it is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.”
Now we wonder: Will he be safe? Will he be happy? Did he have
enough to eat? Is he warm enough? And as he gets older: are we making the right
decisions as parents? Are we firm enough? Does he know that we love him? Will he
surround himself with the right influences? Does he understand that he was made
in the image of the Great Creator? He loves Jesus now – but will he continue to
walk with him as he gets older? Are we praying enough for him?
All these and more are worries that we face and will continue to deal with in the strength of Jesus. But for today we celebrate:
As he stands on the brink of a new year we pray that God will continue to keep him in great health. We pray that he will continue to develop as he should. We pray that he will heed our teachings and stay away from negative influences. We pray that God will make us into the parents that he deserves so that he can be the Dominic that God created him to be. We pray that he will embrace the gifts and talents that Jehovah has given him.
Sometimes as parents we forget to appreciate the little things, we get caught up in the nuances of parenting and forget the joy. Each child is a miracle – a gift from God. Today let’s celebrate our children whatever age or stage they’re in.