Chronicles of Sadie

Sadie Monster (with audio clip)

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When you’re a new parent, you try really hard not to read into everything—unsuccessfully, that is. I can remember walking into newborn Sadie’s room many times in the middle of the night and positioning myself just above her crib to listen for her little breaths. I recall little sounds and gestures she made that we tried to ignore, but they still sent us reeling into an emotional tailspin. Time would not allow me to recount the number of times we “borrowed” the services of our good friend from church who was a Physician’s Assistant, just to have him look at a rash, listen to a suspicious sound with his stethoscope, or take a gander inside Sadie’s ears with his otoscope. You know, just to be safe.

But there was one sound Sadie began making when she was just a few months old that never worried us. We needed no medical opinion about it and we weren’t at all concerned. Amused would be a better adjective. I possess no explanation for it and to this day, I am not sure where it came from or why Sadie chose to adopt this particular form of communication. For no apparent reason, our sweet little princess decided to start growling. That’s right, growling.

I think that it had to do with experimental sounds. Each week, Sadie (like most babies, I assume) would discover new noises that she possessed the ability to make. She was energized by her own empowerment. Screaming. Cooing. Babbling. Laughing. Squealing. Only true parents know the distinct differences between screaming and squealing. Much like the Lewis and Clark-style expedition of her own little world that included such grand discoveries as: her belly button, her toes, the fact that her toes fit comfortably in her mouth, Da Da’s belly button, and many other amazing things, the auditory journey towards unveiling every conceivable possibility of clamor, clatter, and general racket was her infant claim to fame. Early on, her ability to blow “raspberries” with her mouth rivaled the respective skill of any Chinese acrobat or Russian gymnast.

But no other sound was more intriguing than her growl. You’ll have to hear it for yourself to appreciate it in all its glory—you’ll also hear Da Da “helping” with some of the growling. Simply click on the following link and an audio file should open up in Quicktime or your Media Player.

Sadie Monster Audio Clip

Sadie is a sweetheart. There are very few times in life she does not smile at me any time we see each other. She has a very pleasant disposition and besides the normal isolated moments of teachability, she is sugary sweet. That’s the funny part about her growling: it’s just another amusing noise to her. In fact, we soon learned that sometimes we could induce the growling with the right sequence of persuasive techniques. That’s why when Sadie makes her growling noises—and only when she makes them—we call her our little “Sadie Monster.”

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We’ve spoken to other parents who had their own little growlers. They could relate to our early confusion and then entertainment. At the end of the day, that’s just what babies are all about: discovery—and discovery takes on many different forms.

Now if I’m being completely honest, finding the spiritual parallel for the fact that my little girl sometimes growls like a little wolf-woman seems like a slightly daunting task. Ah, but have faith, my friend—it’s not that difficult to see if we just look through the lenses of the divine Parent. It’s all about uniqueness. Some tots communicate with coos and cuddles while others want to growl and wrestle. But one thing is certain about children: you can never be too certain what they will do or how they will express themselves. Like homosapien snow flakes, no two children are identical. Even twins that may share an exact physical likeness cannot share a personality.

Our individuality is one of most convincing pieces of evidence of the eternal creativity of the divine Father. We could explore fingerprints, snowflakes, or DNA as examples of uniqueness, but I think it’s just as pertinent to explore the reasons why God chose to let each member of humanity possess such unique individualism. It is a testament to the infinite capacity of the Creator to love without end each individual in his own unique way.

A relationship with God is offered to each person because each person’s distinctive characteristics are completely known and beautifully-appreciated. I’m not saying God is pleased with all of our attributes or that our faults are hidden from him. Contrary to the lyrics of a popular song back in the 1990’s, God is not watching us “from a distance.” Nope, he is front row and center as an observer. In fact, he is a central character in the story of our lives, even if we do not acknowledge him. The degree of his involvement is another variable contingent upon our unique choices. We must all uniquely decide if he will take the lead or simply be an extra in the background of our drama.

But when it’s all said and done, he knows our laughter and he knows our growling. He understands our struggles and appreciates our individuality. He sees our weakness and has done more than simply sympathize with us; he has stretched out his hand to offer us life by the ending of his own. Now if that’s not a uniquely-crafted plan pointing to the source of our inherited uniqueness, I don’t know what is.

As Psalm 139:1 (NLT) says, “O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me.” There are a lot of “me’s” out there for God to know, but just as there is the potential for infinite versions of people to exist each in their own distinctive uniqueness, there is greater potential for the Creator to know each one in complete intimacy.

For Sadie, I delight in her growl—even if it’s not what every other kid does. Especially since it’s not what every other kid does. She’s uniquely mine and I am uniquely his, even when I look and sound like no one else on earth.

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