Am I the only parent who watches his children breathing while they sleep? There is a tranquility in watching them sleep. Other than the obvious reason that they are not screaming and running around wrecking the place!
But, I digress.
Every night before I turn out the lights and enter my own time of blissful slumber I check on my girls. I look at their faces and I watch the miracle of their autonomous systems filling and deflating their lungs. The rhythmic rising and falling, over and over again. I watch several cycles before I move from one room to the next and finally to bed.
I am stunned by how this never gets old. I have been watching them breath from the moment they entered into this world. It’s something that struck me again recently when my new nephew was born. The memory of my role of accompanying these new bundles of joy (and responsibility) from the operating room to the nursery is with me even now. It was my job to maintain the continuity of possession of these children. And what did I watch? I watched their little chests move up and down. Up and down.
I love being a daddy. Of all the jobs I have ever had or will ever have, this has been my favorite and the most disturbing. I have never been so ill-prepared or ill-equipped in my life. However, the on-the-job training has by and far exceeded my expectations. Becoming a parent is not something that you can prepare for. Parenting is the gift of God to those foolhardy enough to risk loving someone more than themselves.
My prayer is to have the wisdom to know when I am taking this great gift for granted. But, if I don’t have that wisdom within myself I hope I have the sense to listen to my wife when she points it out!