5 weeks and our lives change forever.
5 weeks and we go from a family of 2 to a family of 3.
5 weeks and we are entrusted with the care of a completely dependent tiny person.
5 weeks and Baby Z will start to make his impact on the world and we will start to make our impact on him.
What will that impact be? We have values that we hope to instill, character traits that we will encourage, a way of living that we will try to promote- but what he takes and what he leaves will be up to him. And that’s how it should be. No matter how much I want to guide him to my values, he is his own person. This is what I want for him, in theory. I want him to tread his own path and make his own decisions but I don’t have any concept of just how hard that will be when it comes down to it. It’s a mixture of excitement and terror. Who will he be? How will he change me and my beliefs? Most of my beliefs I hold tightly. I really, really want our children to follow in them but I also recognize that my way is not the only way. The woes of a type 1 personality (for those in the Enneagram sphere). The other day I came across a blog post that encouraged readers to take a moment and make a list of the 5 things that are most important to them. I was intrigued so I did it and what I came up with is pretty representative of what I want to instill in my children (my children… that sounds very adult!). How they incorporate these values into their own lives is their choice (because the world does not need a bunch of mini-Jalyss’s, although I am hoping for some gingers). I spoke with James and he said he felt it was representative of his priorities as well, which is good, ‘cause we are a team 🙂 So I will speak for #TeamZapfletts.
Whole-heartedly following Christ
First and foremost I want Z to know that there is a good God who loves him. I pray that Z will in turn love God. I want him to genuinely follow Christ’s example. I want him to see through our family that following God should make your life noticeably different and I want him to want that for his own life. I want him to care about the things God cares about and allow Him to guide his life and choices.
Relationally focused life, community oriented
The American Dream is simply unhealthy and inevitably ends up causing us to be inwardly focused. Our priorities become skewed with careers taking precedence over family and independence being elevated over community. I want our child to break from that path, to know that there is another way to live. I want him to know that his career is not his identity. I want him to recognize the importance of truly sharing life with others and to accept and extend support. Life is hard and shouldn’t be done alone. Life is not meant to be lived alone, I want him to experience deep and meaningful relationships in all stages of his life.
My family operates on the belief that “there’s always room for one more” whether that be adding adults from group homes to our holiday celebrations, participating in adoption and foster care, or just being open to the neighborhood kids dropping in for dinner unannounced. We have an open door policy that results in a revolving door. I want our child to know his friends are always welcome. I hope that he will be welcoming to those who are going through good times or bad times, extending and accepting hospitality. I hope his doors and arms and heart are always open.
I want our child to grow up knowing that inequality exist, that privilege and racism are real, and that we should actively seek to be a part of changing this. I want him to recognize the worth of each person no matter their sex, race, culture, orientation, religion, and so on. I want him to think about where his clothes come from and the working conditions of those who made them. To consider who picks the fruit that he eats and whether they are paid fairly. I want him to fight against the rhetoric that marginalizes those on welfare. I want him to actively care.
I want little Z to respect the environment and do his best to live in a way that is sustainable. I don’t want him to follow the trend of disposable-materialism but to instead distinguish between a need and a want. To invest in things that are long-lasting and ethically produced. I hope that he recognizes that his consumption habits and lifestyle have an impact on the Earth and by extension those who inhabit it. I want him to appreciate the world around him and respect it.
I also hope he’s funny, because I want him to fit in with our family 😉 But that is possibly a secondary want…
But with all that said, I want him to be unashamedly himself. I’m sure he will have a few things to teach us.
5 weeks and the journey begins. We can’t wait.