I CAN’T BELIEVE HOW OLD YOU ARE!
You have teeth.
You can crawl. I can’t get a good picture of it because the minute you see the camera you pose. You’re such a HAM! You’re such a CHEESE! You’re such a HAM AND CHEESE! You’re just trying to make people think you’re happy all the time. Yeah, right. I was glad you started crawling, cause now instead of carrying you around while you cry I let you crawl around by yourself and cry. I think it’s working out for both of us.
You eat baby crackers.
Every time we take you out to eat you laugh.
And oh sweet buddha you are so ticklish!
You turned seven months three days ago. Why didn’t I have this up three days ago? Well, you can ask me questions like that when you can talk and think of them yourself. Until then you’ll just have to accept what I do without question. And just so you know, I would love it if when you can talk you no longer accept what I do without question! We do not intend to raise children who nominally believe and accept what they’ve been taught. I mean, what if we’re wrong? There’s little, maybe no, truth in just accepting things because someone says so. And we want truth, little one. Truth, with a capital “T”.
Gamma took you me and Daddy to the zoo over the weekend along with Uncle Blake, Aunt Sammie and Caleb. It was a good time. I tried to show you a gorilla, but you just popped your pasi in your mouth and looked around unamused, almost like you had better things to think about, like boogers and poop and when Caleb would share the Kibbles and Bits he’s always munching on. But you loved the fish! Daddy bought some fish food and when he threw it in the pond all the coy mangled up on the surface of the water fighting for the pellets of dried ground protein. It made a beautiful picture, and you couldn’t quit looking. I think you take after your Daddy and his love for the abstract. He spent some time taking pics of images that caught his abstract eye. Isn’t he sweet? Me and you, Cass, are lucky to have that guy.
Cass, I want you to know that we love you. You have changed our lives. Made us think. Made us think differently than we did before. Our nation is about to undergo a huge change, and Dad and I are very seriously considering rallying around some ideas and policies that we were taught as “wrong”. I don’t put “wrong” in quotations so that you can one day tell me that wrong is a relative term, because it’s certainly not. There is real evil and real goodness in this world, and it seems now that we have to made decisions based on what would have the best outcome for the common good and if we err, hopefully, we err on the side of mercy and compassion toward those less fortunate than us.
I also want you to know that I’m not always so merciful or compassionate. Full of passion, no doubt, but sometimes passionate for myself and my own way. I can be very selfish, Cass, but I don’t want to be that way. Thankfully, it doesn’t look like God is willing to give up on me, even though some of his people seem to be. I will never give up on you Cass, and neither will Jesus. He is the Jesus that the Bible says he is. Not the mean, rule bearer, God of “NO”, that he is sometimes portrayed as being. I hope you will come to love him and love people because of him. I hope you understand that loving someone means lovingthem in spite of your differences, not just toleratingthem. I want you to know that loving a person means being honest with them. Perfect love drives out fear. We may never reach a perfect love, but we can strive for it. We can strive to be honest, genuine, without a hint of deceit. We can do our best to understand each other without judgement, and although it’s hard, we can learn to have grace in the face of those who judge us.
You’ll learn as you grow that your Daddy and I are not interested in pretending to have it all together. We are a mess, and a mess is how we portray ourselves. Because that’s truth. Jesus is helping us to be less of a mess. And that’s Truth. You, cause you live in the same house and sleep in the next room, will get to see first hand some of the messiness of our lives, but you can rest assured that we love each other through every bit of the hardships and trial and judgements we face. If anything, we love each other more because of them. We love you more, too.
20 years from now we may share this conversation over a few beers. Speak as adults. Sojourners. We have lots of hopes for you Cass, but none more than for you to be a person who is willing to love God and love your neighbor, whoever they may be and whatever they may do, and that’s a process. We are still learning.
I believe that the Bible is true even to the point that what is not mentioned is not mentioned on purpose. I believe the things that are not clean cut, things that are not mentioned, are that way for a reason. I feel like I’ve been forced into a corner with my beliefs and forced to make decisions on things that God has not set clear boundaries on. I now think that the things we don’t know were not meant to be known by us. I think we are meant to travel through life without knowing everything. We have been given everything we need, and what we don’t need is up for interpretation. Our lives are meant to be lived in participation and anticipation to know more.
For us, this means living a life that some don’t agree with, and unfortunately some of these people want to force their views on us. They tried to shame us and scare us, Cass, but we won’t give in. We’re going with God, and we’re so so so glad He’s willing to have us follow. We can’t wait to see what He’s got planned!
I love you, Booty.