Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Babies Smell Good

There were approximately 216,000 babies born yesterday. That’s 150 babies every minute. (And because of that fact I bought 1000 shares of Huggies’ stock and I am retiring tomorrow.) Only one of those 216,000 babies born was important. I know some people will argue over this point but those people can go write their own blog…Okay, all the rest of the babies were important too and every human life is equally valuable in God’s eyes. I’m not disputing that but only one can be the best baby born on February 23, 2010 and that baby is my nephew.

Atreyu Douglas White was born at 6:20 in the morning yesterday. Shortly thereafter he dunked his first basketball and rode his first bull. He is the adopted son of my sister Kara and brother in law Chad. Now I know what you’re thinking, “Atreyu? Where did that come from?” I thought the exact same thing. The name actually comes from a movie that was a favorite of mine and my two siblings when we were kids, “The Neverending Story”. (The name of this movie never made any sense to me for two reasons. First, the movie ended so obviously it was never ending. Second, there was a sequel. How can there be a sequel to a story that doesn’t end?) Anyways, Atreyu is the main character who rides on that weird looking albino flying dog thing. So naturally we expect my nephew to grow up and have the ability to control animals with his mind, talk to animals, and ride anything that moves without a saddle. (Which he has already proven true by riding that bull.) I also expect to call him Trey, which means eventually he will play basketball for Michigan State and knock down three pointers with his eyes closed.

Jessica and I left after work last night to drive over to Hobart, Indiana where Atreyu was born. This means we had to drive towards Chicago…and every time we drive towards Chicago something goes wrong. This time we were driving down IN-2 and noticed a flock of police cars flying past us. (Yes, police officers travel in flocks, not packs.) They were headed toward an accident scene further up the road. When we approached the accident we realized that there were actually several flocks of police cars. (Actually they would be called a gaggle at this point because they were no longer flying.) I speculate that a gas truck exploded and created a huge crater in the ground where the police found a massive oil field and decided to keep the oil to themselves so the surrounded the crater with their cars. Needless to say, due to the crater the road was closed and we had to find another way around. So we traveled into the wilderness that is northern Indiana. I swear we passed sights that were used in the filming of “Deliverance”. I even saw a guy sitting on a tree branch playing the dueling banjos song by himself.

Somewhere along the way I couldn’t help but thinking, “My camera is being shipped from Chicago to Elkhart right now. I bet that UPS truck I just passed is carrying my camera. That’s ironic.” Eventually we worked our way out of the deep south and found IN-2 again. After we retrieved dinner from McDonalds (by the way Shamrock shakes are back and they are delicious) we got lost…but only for like 5 minutes. When we finally made it to the hospital I decided I was never traveling toward Chicago coming from the west again.

We were ushered up to Atreyu’s room by my brother in law and I got to hold my nephew for the first time. Come to think of it, that was the first time I had ever held a new born. If you have never held a new born before let me tell what it’s like. You hold them kind of like you hold a very expensive vase that you got for your wedding from a guy that has more money than he knows what to do with. You hold them tight but not too tight because like that vase, they are the most valuable thing you have ever touched. And while you hold them you look at it you think, “Wow! This was created by the most imaginative and wonderful artist ever!” You slowly start to realize that the vase you once held isn’t that valuable after all. The most valuable things in life are the people you love and the God who created them. You also realize that babies smell really good…until they poop their pants.

As a newlywed holding my first nephew in my arms I started to understand the great privilege and great responsibility it is to father a child. I also saw the look on my sister’s and brother in law’s face as they held their child. It was a mix of excitement, fatigue, and “Whoa…I’m a parent…what do I do now?” It gave me a greater appreciation for my parents. I am convinced that no couple in the history of the world is or was ever completely ready for parenthood. Despite this my parents made the choice to trust God with their children and raise them has He commanded. That choice created a godly legacy that gathered around a bassinet last night and marveled at the new addition to our family. Thank you Mom and Dad for your obedience to our heavenly father and His Word.

After we all took our turn talking to Atreyu in that annoying but appropriate baby voice and Yvonne (my other sister) took 5,486,653 pictures of his tiny baby feet, we all headed for our various sleeping facilities. Jessica and I had to drive back to Elkhart. That means that we had another opportunity to get lost. But we were smart this time. We took the toll road the whole way home instead of saving the $3.25 and taking the winding back roads that always get us lost.

Despite a four hour round trip and getting lost a couple times I came to one positive conclusion; Life is sacred and valuable. Okay, maybe I came to more than one conclusion but that was the most important one. The others include; holding a 7 pound baby for an extended period of time is a great workout, baby poop is made up of 90% pine tar and 10% digested food, and baby’s heads are shaped funny because their skull bones haven’t developed yet. I love Atreyu and can’t wait to teach him how to wrestle, burp, fart, snowboard, gut a deer, love bacon, eat more pizza than is advisable in one sitting, and to write sweet blogs. Thanks for reading!