Janet and Doug:
First of all, please know that we are so happy for you both! The birth of a child is such a joyful event, and the birth of your first child is a passage into parenthood, the next phase of your rich, wonderful lives. This phase never really ends, as you each get to share life’s marvelous journey with your child.
My sense at the births of our children was one of awe, of love and connection, and of a strong sense of responsibility to both Michelle and Suzy and to Barb. I was also scared…of failing, of not doing it right, of somehow letting down Barb or the kids. That fear was probably more detrimental than helpful to the kids, to Barb and to me. I had a model in my own Dad as to what a good Dad was, but it all seemed to get hazy when I was called to act on that real time. I came to trust Barb, as one who took her parenting seriously and who seemed to “get it.” That trust turned out to be well-placed. Were we to do it over (no immediate plans for this), I would focus on my intention to create and sustain a loving, nurturing, fun home environment with appropriate boundaries and opportunities for coaching, and be less judgmental or critical of my actual behavior. Kids are incredibly resilient, as well as being their own souls from the very beginning.
We tried to create an environment conducive to growing and nurturing the kids’ self-esteem and self-love. Only they can attest how well we did on that, but I still believe that’s a noble objective.
In some of the world’s belief systems, the child’s soul chooses her/his parents and the family to be born into, on the basis of what is most important for the child to learn at that time. I like aspects of this belief, because it honors the “teacher” in both the parent and the child, while keeping responsibility for the lesson learned with the “student.” I’ve found this perspective helpful when relationships have hit a speed bump, and try to ask myself what is the lesson I’m supposed to be learning here?
I know you both well enough to know that Baby Burns is joining a family of two caring, loving, personally self-aware, healthy, capable parents. How grateful BB would be with this knowledge, and my belief is that he/she already knows this and joins this family with tremendous love and gratitude. Together you all will share each others’ life journey, and will weave together the rich tapestry of your lives together. Who knows what that tapestry will look like, but one thing’s for sure, no matter what the scenes, it will be beautiful.
Barb and I send our deepest love to all three of you, and we look forward to meeting BB in person.
With love and respect,