This week I took the boys for their annual pediatric check-ups. This is an event I dread because the little rooms that they put us in usually induce bouncing-off-the-wallness like nothing else, and we are invariably trapped there for half a day. But on Wednesday we smashed all records for in-and-out times and got healthy, albeit brief, reports all around.
The doctor asked mostly about Sam.
Doctor: How are his gross motor skills?
Me: Well, he swims on the swim team.
Doctor: How are his fine motor skills?
Me: Oh, he has beautiful handwriting.
Doctor: How about his speech, any concerns?
Me: Well, I guess there are some. Like fox, say “fox” Sammy.
Doctor: O.K. Sam, say “other.”
The doctor smiled and reassured me that this was normal. As if I needed reassurance! I treasure “udder” and “brudder,” and most especially “da brudders.” But I probably wouldn’t have with Will or Nate. I probably would’ve worked with them on letter sounds and not relished every single mispronounced word. But Sam’s my baby, and time is slipping away from me. The first ten days of school have already changed him. He’s maturing at hyper-speed now. It’s absolutely wonderful and I absolutely hate it, all at the same time.
But it’s not just that Sam is my baby, I treat him differently because I don’t subscribe to the family fairness doctrine. I think it’s a crock. The assumption of “fairness” is that people are the same, that one parental style fits all. But these boys of mine are as different as different can be. Why on earth would I try to treat them just the same? That just strikes me as utterly, udderly moronic. Sam is tactile, needs to cuddle and is extremely sensitive. Nate is brilliant, but scatterbrained and benefits from reminders with regard to just about everything, including things that you’d be pretty surprised he’d need reminding about. Will is driven and focused, but needs lots of guidance about how to not take everything so seriously. If I know them and love them — and oh do I — then our relationships will look and be completely different. This doesn’t mean I love one more than the other. How would that even be possible when I love each of them with my whole heart? I look at each of their little faces and am in awe — I’m cuh-ray-zee about each one.
If you have more than one child, I’m sure you know just what I mean. And this is just a taste of what it’s like for Jesus. He loves each of His creations with an infinite, unquenchable love.
I hope you live each day embracing the truth that the All-Loving Creator of the universe loves YOU as a uniquely created being, made in His image. I hope you know that you are called to uniquely reflect some part of God Himself.
Jesus said, “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:14-16).
May any light shining that I do be about glorifying God and not myself. May I not compare or even consider “fairness,” but do all things as unto the Lord, with the assurance that I am loved.