06 January 2007

Odin who?

It’s early in the morning and I find myself sipping coffee and listening to a frog sing the ABC song. Rebekah remains in bed, hopefully asleep and not fretting over her week, because I try to take care of Odin on Saturdays so she can have at least one day off. But I see that I’ve written almost nothing about my son here or in my journal aside from the emotional venting surrounding his stay in the hospital.

It’s not that there haven’t been scads of things worth recording. It’s not that my first five months of fatherhood haven’t been awash in things to ponder.

The reason I’ve been so silent about Odin is that I’m not quite ready to share.

This recognition hit me like a brick over the Christmas break. Not like a bad thing, just a sudden insight into my own heart and motivations. Nothing has been nearly so dear and precious to me as these last months with my newborn son. I don’t usually think of it these terms, but his candor and sincerity, his innocence and his petulance – it’s something that defies the gaze of my typically analytical eye.

Odin simply is.

And I am profoundly blessed to watch him, and be near him, and sow what I can into his life. The Word says that we should be thankful for our trials, which has always been such a troublesome concept. But I can honestly say that I’ve found myself crying at the Throne, thanking God for all that this experience has been. I’d always been somewhat ambivalent about children, even up to the day he was born, but the whole episode in the hospital focused me and required me to engage with Odin in a way that I might not have done had he been ‘normal.’ Surely we grow in the good seasons, but when we’re honest we have to admit that our biggest growth usually happens through hardship – and the Bible isn’t coy about that fact even if we would be. When we can look at a thing that for all the world seems like a test, and yet truly see that thing as a blessing from Heaven – something mighty has occurred.