I wrote this a couple weeks ago. Finally got it where it’s ready
I highly recommend the movie, but that is beside the point. It is the story of a couple in their 30’s trying to establish an identity in the world. A story about finding and making a home in the vastness of America for their forthcoming child to be grounded in.
As I have spent many quality hours holding Brooks over the past few weeks I have thought quite a bit about one particular scene from that movie. Towards the end of the movie the expecting parents have encountered all sorts of friends with varying styles of parenting. Some good, some bad. They encounter some joy and lots of pain in the lives of the families they encounter. Some healthy and lots of disfunction. They wonder together what sort of life they will be able to provide for their little girl.
In this conversaton Maya Rudolph’s character says to her husband (and I paraphrase), “Do you promise that when she (their daughter) speaks you will listen, and REALLY listen, and that her passions will become your passions.”
I’ve spent a lot of time praying through and imagining what sort of person Brooks will be and what sort of life he will live. Obviously Kelley and I have hopes and dreams for him.
All parents have these and it seems that what your dreams, hopes, and prayers are for your child determine in large part the way you parent your child. What sort of environment do you provide? How much of the world do you expose them to and with what freedom to you expose them? What do you protect them from and what are the implications of that protection? How do you positively form their character and person while providing them freedom and ample room to be the person God created them to be and to develop their own passions, talents, gifts, and interests?
I guess all parents have to walk this balance in their own way and while there certainly are some “wrongs” in finding this balance, there isn’t one “right” and one “wrong.”
I think about the scene in Away We Go, and I have held Brooks while listening to songs like “A New Redemption Song” by Bob Marley or “Up to the Mountain” by Patty Griffin or “Remedy” by David Crowder, or as I simply spend more and more time with him, my prayers, my hopes, and my dreams for Brooks have morphed and deepened.
I still want health, and contentment, and fulfillment and all that jazz. I would love for him to share my love of baseball and reading and the outdoors and look forward to sharing that with him. I would absolutely love to watch him play football on Friday nights. I can’t wait to watch the unique ways I will see Kelley in him and of the special connections he and Kelley will have than will be different than the ones we share.
For me, I want for him to be as at home on our farm in Kenedy or on mission in Eagle Pass or Kenya as he is in Marble Falls. I want him to be educated in public schools where he is exposed to many challenging but rewarding friendships. I want to let him inside the world of my calling and teach him the richness and beauty of true friendships and relationships in Christ and about the nature and strength of the body of Christ. I want to teach him, but also to lead him to know experientially in Christ great truths such as redemption, grace, mercy, compassion, and love.
I find myself fearfully (and yet boldly) praying, hoping, and dreaming about what passions and call God will develop and grow in Brooks’ (I still haven’t figured out the possessive!) life.
Will a great and sincere faith sprout and grow in his heart that will lead him to be a world shaker? Will he advocate for the voiceless and marginalized in the world? Will he have a heart to serve others? What will his passions be? Where will his heart lie? How will he spend his life?
I have great hopes. Maybe as great as any, is the hope I have 20, 30, 40 years from now that he will teach his dad of the passions of a new generation and that I may share them with him. That his passions will become my passions. I can’t wait for the opportunity to listen to him, and I hope I can really listen.
But for now, I hold him. And I dream. And I pray. And I hope.