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Special Days–The Richness of Family, The Value of Children

Posted by MDViews on November 29, 2008

At this point in my life, 56 years and counting, I treasure special days. Days like Thanksgiving, Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries, 4th of July, weddings and even funerals. It takes a day like that to bring together family and close friends, to slow the hectic work pace, to cause un-contemplative folks to comtemplate the meaning of life and to refocus on what’s important.

That has happened again this Thanksgiving. My wife and I rented a motor home and traveled to Kentucky to visit my oldest son, Nathan, and his family. (Wife, Sarah and children Hannah, Noah, Rebekah and Jeremiah). We traveled with my son, Micah, and his family, (Melissa, Blaine and Tyler) and our daughter, Abigail, and her family (Tom, Eliza, Seth and Elianna). 11 of us in a motor home for 12 1/2 hours. What a joy! Since arriving, it has been non-stop kids–running, playing, eating, falling, crying, napping, bumping and getting to know each other all over again. In the midst of that chaos, my son’s study became the Internet cafe. Last I counted, there were 6 or 7 laptops and at least two desktop computers, all being used. All this energy has been fueled by food, food and more food. Even as I type, there are potatoes and a roast in the crock pot, cream puffs in the freezer waiting to be thawed and fresh Toll House cookies on the counter. The kitchen has been in a constant state of being cleaned, preparing food, eating food and cleaning again. With a plethora of Nerf guns and Nerf bullets, someone is always shooting someone. Add a potato gun for adult explosive fun, and you’ve got a genuine Kentucky celebration. As darkness fell tonight, Ed, the other grandparent, started the fire pit and the grandchildren enjoyed S’mores.

This is as close to heaven on earth as I will ever get.

Not to idolize family. Clearly, our focus is to glorifying God over wife, children, grandchildren, in-laws or friends. We have to hold our earthly possessions, including family, loosely. We have no knowledge of the future. I don’t know what God may yet have in store for me, whether poverty, loneliness, illness, pain or suffering. But for now, I am ever so thankful He has provided such wonderful blessings.

I talk about days like this often. More often than you may think.

As an OB/GYN, I routinely deal with patients who have decided on a family with no children, or maybe one or two. Although there are variations, in general, women understand the gift of children more than men. It’s the boyfriend or husband who says one, maybe two is enough. I use my story of special days to emphasize that children are ultimately not a burden, but rather a true blessing with more joy than one can imagine. I explain that my encouragement to have a larger family is not based on a financial desire for more business. Far from it. It is just a plea for them to grab the joy that waits them if they have a larger family.

I’m not naive. We’ve raised four kids. It is no picnic. The “highs” are ever so high, but the “lows” can be lower than low. We’ve dealt with all the problems that go along with each age. But the joy of adult children and grandchildren is such a joy, such a comfort and such a fulfillment that it is difficult to describe.

And I don’t mean the saying I hear so often. “Yeah, it’s fun because you can spoil them and send them home.” God forbid!

First, the last thing I would want would be spoiled, disrespectful grandchildren. I feel invested in their lives and only want good for them. Second, although it can be a relief when they go home with their parents after a long, busy day, especially after a hard day at work, we rarely turn down the opportunity to have them spend the night. Bea, my wife, often has them all day. And she is the best grandmother I know. (No exaggeration.) It is a mystery to me how couples can move south for golf and warm weather and leave their children and grandchildren. What are they thinking? Golf? Warm weather? Compared to relationship with children and grandchildren? Give me a break!

So the real point of this post is the value of children and family. It is a blessing just waiting to happen. And I guess that’s a good fit for a pro-life OB/GYN.

2 Responses to “Special Days–The Richness of Family, The Value of Children”

  1. lynette said

    I so enjoyed reading this entry and was encouraged to read of your thankfulness to God with all that He has given you. Brad and are experiencing the true blessing children are these days. My love to you and Bea!

  2. Abigail said

    Too true. I don’t want to “spoil” my grandkids either (assuming I have some one day). It’s nice that grandparents can do special things with the kids that parents can’t or often don’t get the chance to, but this doesn’t mean spoiling them. It just means encouraging good attitudes and behavior and discouraging the bad while doing the cool grandparent activities.

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