As with most parents, since the day he was born, I’ve been dreaming of all the things my son could grow up to be. I’m not sure it’s been healthy, like it might be borderline obsessive. When he throws something, I think, “He’ll be a great quarterback or pitcher!” When he plays with his foot, “He’ll be great at soccer like his mom!” When he plays with his toy piano, “He’ll be a musician!” Even when he gnaws relentlessly on anything he can find, “He’ll be a dentist!” I guess it’s the way of the new parent, and I’m sure the veterans reading this will be sure to remind me of all these thoughts if/when I’m on my second, third, fourth, or however many God has in store. From what I understand, a lot of that wonder gets pounded into submission from the grueling schedule of giving 100% individual attention to multiple children all at the same time while not sleeping, eating, and walking ten miles through the snow without any shoes on. (Maybe I exaggerated a little bit, but the point is well taken nevertheless)
On the other end of the spectrum, I wonder if Tripp could grow up to be something that would disappoint me. I guess another way of phrasing it is I wonder what my minimum bar is for him. What is the absolute least I would wish for him, while still continuing to dream big?
I first thought of my answer to this question the day Tripp was born. The nurse took him to the sink and rinsed his head with water as if he was being baptized, and he didn’t make a peep. It was the first time in both our lives that I was proud of him for something he did or didn’t do. When he was baptized a few months later, the same held true. Tripp did not let out the slightest cry, but relaxed instead, as if he were feeling at home in the presence of God. Now, today, his first word was “agua” (we’re trying to raise him bilingual), and I was once again reminded of the “living water.” (John 7:37-39)
As much as I wish the world for my son, I realized that all I truly want for him, all that truly matters, is that he becomes a man of God. As much as I’d love to see him leading Virginia to a National Championship or succeeding in his career or even having a good marriage, all that truly matters in the end is his relationship with God. Everything else he does is merely a means to that end, and only God knows my son’s heart and the necessary means for him to achieve that all-important end. So, I pray, at a minimum, that he does, and that we all do.