Every morning when Eli wakes up either Luke or I will go and get him and then bring him back to our bed.
Call this "forming a bad habit" all you want, but I LOVE this time. Those few moments in the morning are so special. And if I've learned anything these past six months it is that time FLIES by and I want to cherish every minute of this baby. Whether I'm doing what the books say is right or not.
This morning Eli woke up a bit later than usual so when I brought him to our bed Luke was already up and about to head out the door for church.
I settled into my normal Sunday routine of feeding Eli in bed while watching some gloriously lame movie on TV. You never know what movie you will find on Sunday mornings, but I always end up watching it, no matter what movie it is.
As I turned on the TV this morning to watch my movie I was quickly reminded that it was in fact September 11th. Somewhere between drifting off to sleep, and being woken up abruptly by a crying baby, the date had slipped my mind. But it all came flooding back in an instant. Ten years ago today our nation was changed.
I sat in bed with Eli, watching the news coverage and remembering everything about that day. And because I'm human, my mind started to think about myself, and what I was doing that day and how much my own life had changed these past ten years.
Ten years ago I was a senior in high school watching the news coverage unfold on TV. I remember sitting in speech class watching the towers fall. To be honest, I didn't understand everything. I knew to be scared, and I knew that thousands of families lives were changed forever, and I knew that pure evil was behind this, but as a senior in high school the true extent of it all didn't really get to me.
Fast forward to present day. I'm now a 27, watching the events unfold once again. But this time I'm sitting in bed, with my six month old baby. Today it hit me in a way it never has before.
ABC rebroadcast scenes from their Good Morning America from that September morning and I watched the scenes all over again. I have seen these images dozens of times, but today it was different. There next to me was my sleeping baby. A precious, innocent child that is going to grow up in this world.
I sat there, with my hand over my mouth watching the images as if it was my first time to see them. I looked over at my sleeping baby and immediately wondered what kind of world would he grow up in? In that moment it was easy to let fear, questions and uneasiness flood my heart.
No matter how hard I try, I cannot shield him from hurt, I cannot protect him from pain.
Many times after we first brought Eli home from the hospital, as I would gently kiss his cheeks and rub his head and watch his sleeping body gently move up and down with his every breath I would look at Luke and say "I only want him to know love, I don't want him to know ANYTHING BUT love"
I was completely serious, as any mother would be, but every time I would say it, Luke would laugh a bit and tell me, just like I already knew, it was impossible for Eli to only know love. He lives in a fallen world.
My desire is for Eli to only know love, but unfortunately he will see much outside the realm of love, and there is nothing I can do about it.
The only thing I can do, along with Luke, is teach Eli the love of Christ. Teach him HOW to love others. Teach him what it is like to show love in the face of unkindness, unfairness, disappointment and hurt.
This world can be scary, and there are many questions and many things that are out of our control, but we know Who we put our hope in. We can't always protect Eli, but we can direct him to the greatest Protector.
So as I sit here ten years later watching the shocking images unfold once again, I am changed. I do not want to sit and fear the world that we live in. I do not want to question the future.
Instead I will use the time I have to lead my son to the Truth I know, and teach him the Love we have been shown, and pray that he continues to spread that love in our world, no matter what it may be like.