Today was filled with deep reflection, prayer and hope. My mother and I attended Thatcher’s memorial service to celebrate his life. The service was very nice…The church was filled with hundreds of people that he had touched, the pictures of his life were moving and Eric’s speech was beautiful. As we remembered Thatcher, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of renewed hope for Eli’s future and greatfulness for his life.
Hoping the Paul family feels a sense of peace tonight knowing that their son has touched so many.
Expanding upon the theme of hope, we had our training class for Eli’s dedication tonight. We are excited to dedicate him. It’s a huge statement and emotionally charged commitment- hope for Eli’s future.
I’ve dreamt of the moment for years- watching as other parents dedicate their little ones, beaming with pride on the stage while the congregation “ooh’s” and “ahh’s” over how adorable they are.
My mom and sister helped me pick out his special outfit and Barry is writing a letter to be read to Eli during the ceremony.
The church requires a training class prior to the dedication. The overall theme seemed to be “legacy”- what we will leave behind, how we will be defined and what our children would say about us.
On a day like today, that seemed a loaded question. I began to wonder what our Eli would say about us after we are gone…what things we might have taught him and the kind of person he would be. Hope excitedly grew in my heart- the future looks so amazing for him.
The class leader then asked us to “begin with the end in mind”…to reflect on our child 25 years from now. Who would our child be? What would their legacy be? Imagine your child dedicating their own children. What would your child become?
Again, I tried to imagine this for our son.
To help us envision this future, the class leader began to list examples of what he envisioned for his kids so many years ago. He focused on: the next 18 years, grand kids, and college.
That’s when I realized just how different our vision for Eli is from those of the other parents gathered at out table.
And I began to worry…are these rhetorical questions or do we have to share our thoughts? Do I explain to the class that Eli has Ds? That I want so much for him but our goals are different than typical parents? (thankfully the questions were meant for self reflection. Whew! Cause I had some deep stuff going on in my mind!)
Ours isn’t simply an 18 year commitment, go off to college and get married type of thing. I mean, it could be. We don’t know the future. We sure do want awesome things for Eli.
But I guess what hit me was how differently I viewed that future.
In my mind, what I saw for Eli was: inspirational speaker, child of God, happy, loved and cared for by family. While the rest of the class laughed about hurrying their kids along to college and independent adulthood.
My mom said that she hoped Thatcher’s memorial service had put things into perspective for me. It did. I’m not sad for Eli’s future and we have big big dreams for him. But the realization of how different these dreams are from those of other parents hit me hard today. I guess this is bound to happen more and more- seeing Eli’s differences. At first it made me anxious but after reflecting, I know it’s not a bad thing, just a different perspective than most parents.
What the class made me realize is how bold and exciting Eli’s future is- that we want to work on building a true legacy for him. A lasting one that isn’t rooted in societal norms. That is our commitment to Eli- to bring him up with strong morals and conviction, for him to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and for him to inspire others.
So greatful for a new day and for renewed hope.