The Joy, Frustration, and Fear of Having a Child

This evening I experienced a mixture of three emotions: joy, frustration, and fear. I’m quite certain my experience is not unique. For many of you, this might bring back memories.

Elijah soaks up everything I do. He watches me intently. He mimics my movements. He is more concerned about what is in my hands than he is with the toys in his own. So when he starts reaching for my diglot of Thomas Aquinas’ Summa Theologica, more than a little part of my soul is warmed.

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And yet, this creates a bit of a frustration. If Elijah wants what daddy has, then it makes it very difficult for me to get anything done throughout the day. Case in point:

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Elijah’s need to have electronics in his hands does not stop there. He gets very excited whenever he is allowed to play with my phone.

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Which brings us to the fear aspect of having a child. If he is already picking up on my likes, dislikes, and habits this early, he is going to share the same strengths and weaknesses I have. No, this isn’t any new revelation to me, or to you for that matter. It is, though, powerful to see yourself mimicked, both the good and the bad, in your child. For those that have walked this road ahead of me, I’m sure you are thinking, welcome to my life. Well, it also is my life now . . . and I might want to think a little about putting away the phone and the computer every now and then.

[Note: If Elijah could speak, he would cry out “I’ve been set up. That evil man put those things in front of me so he could take these pictures.” Of course, he would be right, but that in no way exonerates him from past behavior ;)]

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