I posted two earlier lessons I’ve learned from my first days of parenthood. Here are two more things I’ve learned.
3) Life is complex. Much more complex than counting bowel movements and tracking feeding schedules. Who knew that brushing teeth could be a luxury or that reading for pleasure could be pleasing? Yet there are so many people for whom life’s joys are, in fact, gifts. Men we know, women whose faces come to mind immediately, don’t just talk about living life. They live. They live despite complexity and stuff and importances. And they do so with a grace and simplicity. They live regarding basic things as beautiful things. Small accomplishments replace big ones on center stage. Do you know anyone like this? Someone who lives NOW and who regards life with wisdom and ease, whose practical matters enliven and don’t restrain them?
4) Some days I’m better at living by faith. See, the faith I live, fight, and teach says that it’s important to do things you don’t want to do. The world revolves around someone or someone else’s agenda. I hate this far down inside. Really. It tears at me and feels like the pain of pulling, yanking even, at a scab that’s not old enough to be dry. I love it when things go my way. When life isn’t filled with dirty dishes and messy laundry. But life fills quicker with junk than it does anything else. I’m told that muscle is heavier than fat and that if you build muscle, it’ll stay longer than fat. To me, though, fat never goes quickly. Chaos and its cousins wear out their welcome, bringing bags and dragging them in our heads–without the decency of leaving when we ask them to.
As much as I love my son–and I tell people we’re still deciding whether we like each other–he’s teaching me things. Some of these things I’d rather go without learning. But I look at him and remind myself (or my wife reminds me) that he’s not going anywhere. He’s going to grow and continue being a good teacher to his father.