Today is a big day in our family. This very day. Our baby turns 30. Of course, he’s not so thrilled, but how does he think that makes ME feel? The answer is: Really old. That day 30 years ago was most interesting. Christie tends to have babies rather quickly (after the stubborn first-born, that is). We lived in Indio and our doctor delivered in Palm Springs. So that meant at least a 45 minute drive to the hospital. Babies can arrive in that length of time, especially if it takes a while to load the car and get child care in place for the other two kids. So if this third one came quickly, the drive was too long to be considered safe. And besides, I was not willing to deliver alongside the I-10.

The doctor decided on Wednesday to induce. And we had a choice, do we want a Thursday or a Friday delivery? Thursday was April Fool’s Day that year, so we opted not stick this child with that running gag for the rest of life. So we opted for a Friday delivery. And the baby even cooperated with that plan. On Friday morning, we were at the hospital bright and early. Everything was prepared for the induction and 45 minutes after that was initiated, we were the proud parents of a bouncing baby boy. It was not a long delivery, but that doesn’t make it any easier, to be clear.

I was thrilled. Christie was exhausted. The rest of the day was filled with cuddles, visits from his siblings. And naps. Always naps.

But it was a great day, one we’ll never forget. It has now been 10,958 days since that morning delivery. There have been some wonderful days since then, and some difficult days since then. As parents, we got bogged down in the minutiae of raising three children, but those days certainly flew by. They were not easy, especially when we moved to the South Bay 18 months later and attempted to pastor a church and raise three small, but delightful children (aren’t they all?).

So I just want to encourage parents to stay the course. Enjoy your children. Keep track of the good days. Forget the bad ones. Keep walking with God yourself and eat dinner together as much as you can. Children need loving and godly parents. 

And remember, someday we shoot our arrows, who are a gift from God, into the world. Though painful, we do it. By God’s grace they will thrive and change the world in a place beyond our personal influence. Even the baby, who’s not really a baby any more. By the grace of God.