A great friend of mine visited us recently. She lives a way away from us but was visiting the area and blessed us with her company for a few hours.
As we often do when we haven’t seen each other in a while, we got to talking on a range of topics. Then we dropped on the matter of marriage and children. When we touched that issue I got to thinking of my attitudes to children before I got married. Back in those days I had absolutely no idea about having children. Theoretically I thought that they would have to come along with the marriage thing that I did think about, but again not seriously. I certainly didn’t think about what I needed to do to be ready for fatherhood.
In fact even when I got married I didn’t take the fatherhood thing seriously. Which was unfortunate as my wife had a son, so … that was awkward. Nevertheless, it was still an amazing experience on Friday 29th December 2004 to behold and carefully cradle the first child God blessed me with. I don’t know if anything could ever truly prepare me for those moments.
I cradled her and rocked her gently singing her name to her. Here she was, Deborah Christina Dryden. Small, fragile, bemused by her new experiences and yet not as bemused as I.
Twelve years later I certainly cannot cradle her and hold her like I did all those years ago. She is not that baby at all. She is a bright, talented, remarkable young girl. She can see the cusp of the changes ahead, but she is still a girl. Her communication skills are impressive and she has a tremendous heart for justice and fairness. At the moment she still wants attention from her Dad, though she is already bringing it on in verbal sparring.
It is a delight to see her exploring her interests and her social circle is quite something too. In my life, though, I loved her back then because she was a gift from God and no matter what happens, it remains the basis on which I continue to grow in love with this daughter – my first born.
She is quipping at me and when she hits a home-run with a quip she will mention how it is here being like her old man, because as his offspring she sprung off him. My heart’s desire is that she will develop a relationship with the source of her life for real and then recognise how she can be the beloved offspring of the heavenly Father.
Until then, today is another blessed opportunity to sing the song of her name and give thanks for my firstborn. She is my dear Deborah Christina, and for that I will be forever grateful.
For His Name’s Sake
C. L. J. Dryden