My study materials have changed from this:
James Bjorn: my enigmatic son. I am a student of my child. This is true in two ways: 1. I am learning who he is; 2. I am learning great truth from him. Allow me to explain.
I’ve said it many times: babies are the hardest problem I’ve had to solve. Burk and I both studied Philosophy in undergrad, and yet of all the logical proofs we had to solve and all the critical thinking we employed, nothing prepared us for the task of understanding and solving a baby. This little person with all his likes and dislikes and fickle nature has proven to be the most difficult philosophical and pragmatic problem we’ve encountered; he is also the most fun. One day James thinks peek-a-boo is hilarious, others, it’s a game that ends in tears. Some days he looks at me like I am the funniest person in existence; the next, not only am I not funny, I’m also terribly frustrating. He hates sleeping in the car, but loves the stroller. His dad is funny, unless he’s putting his scratchy beard too close to his baby skin, unless its Wednesday, then that’s funny too (I don’t actually know if it corresponds to the day of the week, though I wouldn’t be surprised if it did). The owls who hang over his changing table are ALWAYS funny. He loves his stuffed raccoon, the stuffed fox however, not worth his time. We have the challenge and privelage of getting to know this little person and all his excentricities (and with parents like us it’s no surpise he has so many). As we learn who he is we also have the honor of teaching him, whether good or bad (I pray for good), we will shape who he becomes.
Every moment is a teaching opportunity as a parent, and as I teach James the simplest things I’m in awe of how much I missed before him. I sing “Jesus Loves Me” before he goes to bed, and it’s incredible how powerful such a simple (and seemingly silly) song can bring such an understanding of truth. Sometimes I need the reminder that “Jesus loves me, this I know,” because I may not know anything else that day, but I know Jesus loves me. I know I am weak and he is strong. I know it’s to him I belong. Life is complicated, truth is complex, but sometimes simple phrases bring light to the complexity in ways I’ve never grasped. I like to complicate things like Faith, Love and Beauty; but as I bring James’ attention to the sounds of leaves rustling, or the breeze blowing in his face, and explain how the Creator died to rescue him, I’ve realized there is a simplicity that I often miss. It’s far to easy to get caught up in the theory of Beauty and miss it’s actuality all around me.
James has taught me who he is as this 14-week-old person, and he has taught me the simplest ways to understand the most complex philosophical truths. Not bad for a someone who drools puddles.