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August 25, 2016

Growing Up with Our Children

Most of us become parents long before we stop being children.
(Lionel Kauffman)

In our family, this statement couldn’t be more true. Jenny and I were practically babies ourselves when we got married and I shudder when I think of how naïve we were when Hannah came into the world. In fact, I remember looking at the nurse like she was crazy when she told us it was time to take our baby home.

But nothing asks us to grow up – over and over again – like being a parent (except marriage, but that’s for a different Pause). When you’ve got kids, suddenly the whole world looks different and you think you’re suddenly supposed to have all the right answers. But that mentality is the mark of a child. Being a grown up doesn’t mean you’ve got all the right answers. Quite the opposite, in fact. It means you strive to ask better and better questions. It means you strive to rise above the fray of the moment, in any moment. Finally, it means you also strive to put away childish things like pettiness and pouting, so that you can pick up the tools of a grown up: patience and humility.

(I wrote this while taking my now 19-year-old Hannah to the doctor this morning. A young man was trying to console his miserable, recently-born baby boy. The man’s baggy eyes looked like a mirror reflection I might have seen at several points during that first year. I don’t know how much I’ve grown up in these two decades, but I’m sure glad (and proud) of how much my daughter has).

Peace begins with pause,

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