The little guy is sleeping behind me, and so I’m stealing a few moments of computer time. I’m very, very, tired, having stayed up most of the night so that Kirsten could sleep, as she has to work 12 hours today. Still, I am glad to to do this, for my son. I love him very much. I’m still unemployed at the moment, a situation which needs to be rectified soon. I had a very promising interview at Eastern University the other day. The job would be working as an associate registrar at their seminary. I think it’s a good fit for me, and it pays better, has good hours and benefits, etc. I hope and pray that this works out, as it will enable Kirsten to work a bit less, will enable me to get more schooling eventually at no cost, etc. These are all good things.
I’ve been seeing that commercial lately about having a child, the one that so helpfully reminds us who are parents (including me!) that "Having a baby changes everything." I suppose this is a good reminder for some folks. It is, of course, so "easy" for so many to bring a baby into the world (from the father, anyway), and it can seem hard to "give up" the things and activities you may have taken for granted before. Some men avoid this responsibility altogether. Others, perhaps myself included, are well-intentioned and give a good effort at jumping into this role while still struggling to adapt to this entirely new life. This struggle, this adaption, continues to happen for me in many areas and in many ways. The trauma of Samuel’s premature birth did change just about everything for me. I no longer have the leadership roles and responsibility I formerly had in my church community, we moved out of the house and community we were living as a part of, which also was very disruptive to my "place" in that larger church community, I think, I left my job and am looking for a better, hopefully more "appropriate" one, etc. There’s more, but "just" this has left me reeling, and I don’t know that I’ve entirely caught up with everything. Along the way, I’ve been hurt a bit by it all, and have responded to some folks in anger, and so am now working, however haphazardly to be reconciled.
In the meantime, I keep remembering the admonition of a friend not to let my values change once the baby came. I took this to mean, "Don’t let your new responsibilities as a father warp you into more readily accepting the ‘american dream;’ don’t begin leading an insular, safe, protected life. Do keep building God’s kingdom as best as you can. Do keep ‘being the Church’ as best you can." Of course, I want to do or not do all of those things, and yet, "having a baby changes everything." I do not know that these two ideas are dichotomous, per se; they need not be mutually exclusive; yet there is a tension to be resolved, a paradox to be managed, a blade to be balanced on, and I hope not to fall. If/when I do, I hope that grace still meets me in whatever depth I wind up in.