Watching a baby grow is always fascinating. They develop so quickly! As we see our baby Sebastian do new things, we are constantly reminded of the times when his older sister and brother reached that milestone. When were they comfortable lying on their tummy? When did they turn over? When did they sit up? When did they get into their solid (mashed) food? What was their favourite food? We go back to the photos to check whether our memory has got it right. Through the experiences with that baby, we remember our previous experiences. We are reminded that they, also, were that small, that they have grown in leaps and bounds. Yes, we compare, not just among siblings, but also among cousins and friends. While all babies develop differently, there are striking similarities that are a like a bond to us.
Some parents get into a competitive mode: “my baby already crawled at 7 months.” I never thought that helpful. The sharing of experiences is a lot more important. Something that I learned is that—despite some modern protestations to the contrary—baby girls and boys do have subtle, but noticeable differences in their development. I am, however, pleased to say that our baby has developed sleeping habits that are more similar to those of his older sister than those of his older brother. Thanks be to God! The prayers of my fellow Northwest Christchurch ministers was fulfilled. It means that we get quite a bit more sleep than we did with our last baby.
I wonder whether as adults we should not also find more of a bond in the common experiences of life, rather than getting competitive. Of course, the differences among adults are far greater than among babies, especially when we meet across the generations, across cultures, social backgrounds, political persuasions, and (in the Church) theologies. That empathy—making an effort to understand each other—is important in a healthy community. It is also what we are called to in the Church.
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:28
Blessings – Tim