Chronicles of Sadie

Sadie’s Light Switches of Wisdom

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In the world of Sadie, there are daily moments of reflection. Some of them are humorous. Some of them are emotional. All of them make life so much richer.

Sadie is now eight months old. I know, it’s hard to believe. It just seems like yesterday I was writing that first Chronicle of Sadie from the hospital room as Laura cradled and fed our newborn princess. Exhausted and overwhelmed, I knew that life would never be the same—I was correct. The daily adventure of having this little miniature person in my personal possession is challenging and invigorating all at the same time.

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I think the most striking features of parenting an infant are the huge strides that she makes in short amounts of time. Life changes so fast that you can easily miss it. For example, I was out of town for four days last week. In those four days, Sadie began army crawling pretty successfully, almost cut two new teeth, and began semi-pulling up on her own. Four days! I told Laura to put a brick on her head to keep her from growing while I was gone—it didn’t work.

There are many other major milestones that we’re passing even as I write. The past two weeks, she has become pretty proficient at saying both, “Da Da” and “Ma Ma”. Now, we’re not fully convinced that these combinations of simple syllables are directly related to us every time she says it, but it’s a victory nonetheless—especially since “Da Da” came first.

Holding her own bottle—now that’s really changed some things. You can strap her in to her high chair, hand her the bottle, and walk away. The first time I did this, I was so unfamiliar with the process that I honestly forgot she was eating. By the time I came to my senses, she needed the kind of burp comparable to the release valve on an air compressor!

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Even just this morning, Sadie showed off her brilliance by turning off the light switch in her bedroom. Brilliant and environmentally-friendly—what a kid!

A wise child accepts a parent’s discipline;
 a mocker refuses to listen to correction.Proverbs 13: 1 (NLT)

Discipline is a word that isn’t quite in our daily parental vocabulary just yet, although it’s coming sooner than I wish. At the heart of discipline is the correction of an errant behavior and the teaching of an appropriate one. In those terms, we’ve been disciplining Sadie since the first day she was born. Sounds weird, doesn’t it? Disciplining a newborn?

It only sounds weird because of our cultural context of discipline. Negative. Harsh. Rough. Sometimes, these indictments are certainly true. But discipline more appropriately means just the simple realignment of certain behaviors to healthier ones. For these moments in Sadie’s life, she is mostly unaware of our discipline towards her. We’re very aware of it—every time she sleeps through the night or goes down for a nap or—well, sleeps at all.

She may be unaware, but the moment of awareness is fast approaching. For now, I can only do the best I can to provide the correct environment of discipline—and since I’ve never actually done this before, that’s quite a tall order. The other thing I can do is pray like the dickens!

I pray for Sadie because only God can truly impart wisdom to a child. ”Child” and “wisdom” are two words that we often don’t associate together. This is the ultimate biblical proof that wisdom is not purely a matter of knowledge—it’s more a matter of temperament, humility, and willingness to listen.

I’m asking God to help Sadie find this kind of wisdom early on. I pray that some of it comes naturally, but also that we will know that right kind of correction to offer to help her learn. Catch me in another six months and I’ll let you know how it’s going.

Sadie’s been flipping light switches in my life ever since she made her grand arrival. She may be the physical infant, but I’m the spiritual one. I know that my heavenly parent is offering me his own discipline and correction. Some of it I am aware of, but there is probably a whole mess of it that I know little about yet. I’ll grow into it.

Wisdom is about temperament. Attitude. Willingness to be corrected, even when it hurts. It’s nice to know that my Father celebrates every light switch that my little fingers turn on—maybe Sadie and I are both getting wiser.

We shall see.

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