The Neccesity of Children
I never really wanted kids...in fact I never really liked them much at all. In my mind, kids were noisy, messy, smelly, selfish, destructive, sleep disturbing, and the ultimate style cramping mechanism. I had no qualms in saying that I wanted nothing to do with children and certainly wanted none of my own. I cannot say in all honesty that my assessment of children was wrong, nor has much really changed in my attitude since then, except that I happen to live with four little children of my own.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I adore my kids and I could not imagine going to back to the freedom of being childless at the expense of not seeing their smiles anymore. But that being said, I struggle as a parent.
As I write, it is almost 1AM and I am up with my two-year-old son who is sick with some sort of stomach flu. He is sound asleep at the moment, but if he maintains his schedule he will start to puke in about 15 minutes and if I am not awake to catch it in a pan, I’ll be scrubbing the carpet or sofa. I’m tired and not looking forward to the soon to come sunrise which will herald my need to head off to the lab. Some days, it seems that nothing goes right and the kids all seem to get sick at once or they refuse to go to sleep at bedtime, or they have a nightmare and put an abrupt end to Mommy and Daddy’s “date night” or “movie night.” All of you out there who have kids can understand I am sure (even if you don’t have four of them under the age of 6.)
The fact of the matter is, I don’t / didn’t like kids because I was / am a self-centered, arrogant, and mean bastard. Much of my confessions to my spiritual father revolve around the handling of my kids: how I lose my temper; how I have so little patience; how I feel put-out by them; how I discipline them in order to appease my anger and NOT so much to correct bad behavior. Many times I find myself regretting how I have handled a particular situation with my kids – realizing that I have not loved them as I love myself…by a long shot. And if I cannot do that, then how can I do so for strangers? Furthermore, I cannot claim to follow the teachings of Christ and His Church and NOT be a damn good father. Which entails being selfless, humble, and kind. Folks, if it ain’t happening at home, you can bet it ain’t gonna happen for real on the streets. In fact, I’ve no business taking my Christianity to the world when I don’t believe I am presenting it properly to my own children.
I am counseled by my priest to see my fatherhood as the fulfilling of a martyric life to which all Christians are called. In one way or another, we (meaning YOU and I as followers of Christ) MUST give up our lives. Having four human beings live with you who are also WHOLLY and I mean WHOLLY dependent on you for their lives – both physically and spiritually is one such path that is most difficult to follow. Too often I take shortcuts to ease the journey…but this is NOT the way of the martyr. The way of the martyr is to give your life as a ransom for many.
Each day I will strive to give my life as a ransom to four…which by today’s family standards is indeed many. My living room is a ripe mission field...like no other and while I bring salvation to them, they bring salvation to me.
Lord have mercy on me, a sinner. I hear Nicholas stirring, I’d better get his pan.
...offered by Dn. fdj, a sinner at 5:13 PM [+]