Wednesday, July 4, 2012

A World That Doesn't Like Children

Friends and family who know our little corner of the world have been incredibly encouraging as we look forward to the birth of our third child, but yesterday was an eye opener.  We got the children up early so they could watch the ultrasound of their little baby brother or sister.  When the technician came out to get us, she looked horrified.  If the boys had been pretending to be superheroes in the lobby by jumping off the furniture, I might have understood.  However, my boys were quietly sitting with me reading a magazine.  Teacher Man and I walked them to the back while she walked quickly ahead of us before realizing that little legs go at about half the speed.  This was my next clue that she wasn't a big fan of little people.  When we got to the room, everything unraveled.

This woman works ultrasound in the OB-GYN ward.  Her job all day is to take pictures of babies, precious little lives so clearly formed by a masterful Creator; but when Ben started to unravel because he didn't like watching Mommy lie down on a doctor's table, so did the technician.  While Caleb watched in wonder as she pointed out our sweet baby's hands, feet, head, and movements; she barely noticed.  What she did notice was Ben completely losing it in my husband's arms.

She told me, point blank, that for my next ultrasound it would be better if the boys did not come.  Sigh.  I understand her frustration.  Listening to a baby cry unnerves me, and I'm with him 24 hours a day; but she threw out the baby with the bathwater.  What she didn't notice was my big boy listening with awe to his little sibling's heartbeat.  She missed his smile as the baby was clearly moving all around, which in his mind is a sibling who will want to play!  And as she looked revolted, I just thought how sad it was that she takes pictures of these sweet babes for a living and can't take having one of them in her office for 6 minutes.

We won't be taking Ben back.  He clearly thought the technician was going to hurt me or hurt him.  It's just not his scene although we had no way of knowing he would respond in that way until we were there and I was lying on the table.  I feel terrible that we started off her day at 8 a.m. with a sad baby.  Goodness knows that's not how I want to wake up either, but I think her facial expressions and responses just reminded me that we live in a world that doesn't really like or know what to do with children.

Where the world demands order, children will be messy.  Where the world craves quiet, children will express their opinions unabashedly.  Where the world desires control, children will remind you that control is an illusion.  Where the world wants perfection, children will clearly demonstrate that we are all still "under construction."

My children are the ones who most often remind me that this world is not my home and that meeting all the world's standards is not important or even possible.  We strive to meet God's standards through God's strength while waiting on God's timing as He continues His plan with our imperfect selves.  And we pray the same for our children: that God will work in their hearts to drive them to depend on Him, that they will talk to Him first about all things, that they will act by faith to accomplish the impossible things that God will do through them.  This is what is truly important, truly eternal.

I know some places are inappropriate for children, and I have no intention of dragging my children with me to every OB appointment.  There is a level of maturity necessary to experience different situations.  I just wanted them to meet their sibling, to have a rare glimpse into how precious and real life is.  We didn't make a very good impression at the office yesterday, but those pictures made a huge impression on Caleb.  It's real now for him in a way that would not be possible had he not seen that baby swimming around in Mommy's tummy.  Though some of the world didn't really like my family yesterday; my eternal, oldest child was changed forever.  He glimpsed the impossible that is only possible through God.  That's where it's at.  Amen.

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