Five years ago from my bed at Swedish Hospital, I wrote the journal entry below. It sounds a bit like goodbye-instructions, my last will and testament, a ‘please-raise-the-kids-right-when-I’m-gone’ plea.
However there was no imminent danger of my death. On the contrary, we were awaiting the gift of new life. Though she wasn’t due for about six weeks, our daughter was born just hours after I wrote this.
I’d spent the better part of the last five weeks in that hospital bed, growing this sweet little baby in my belly (literally with lots of cafeteria brownies, which were surprisingly good for hospital food).
Maybe I had too much time on my hands, or maybe it was the fact that I was highly medicated (magnesium to stop contractions; seriously no fun), or maybe it was simply God’s grace flowing through my pencil in anticipation of the excitement and blessing to follow in just a few short hours.
Journal entry 11.30.2006 (verbatim)
What is important when it comes to raising our kids (in no particular order, as they pop into my head):
Respect: respect for themselves, adults, peers, opinions they don’t agree with, us (of course)
Faith: faith that God is always there to help them through anything, they are never alone
Trust: trust in us as parents, that we are always there for them, they can always come to us. Along the lines of faith and trust, nothing is unforgivable
Generosity: quick to share with others, compassionate to all different types of people
Loving: understanding of the importance to give love, receive it, show it—show it not only by word, but by actions
Gratitude: to be grateful for our many blessings, express gratitude to God and to others. There is so much to be grateful for!
It’s a pretty good list, particularly under the circumstances. I’m not even sure I’d change it. And one thing I wouldn’t change for sure is the safe arrival of our healthy, charming, self-assured, compassionate, loving little girl.