Chronicles of Sadie

Sunflowers and Sparrows

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First Monday as a father and I hit the ground running… well, more like “runny.” Like a a bowl of uncured jello might “run” after being spilled on the kitchen floor. Wrapping up “Sadie” details at home the best that I could, I came to staff meeting at the office and faced the ensuing bombardment of my week off for paternity leave. I worked until lunch and then went home to pick up Laura and little darling for her very first doctor’s visit.

Laura is an amazing accessorizer and the knowledge of Sadie’s imminent arrival seemed to jar something loose within her, especially in the area of headwear. Coupled with a newfound affection for eBay and some guy named “Craig” who has this “list”, her buying power skyrocketed and a steady stream of UPS and FedEx trucks began stopping in front of our house. Their standard mission? To deliver yet another box full of newborn and infant headbands and hairbows. That’s right– headbands!

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I wish I could exaggerate the following stats, but I assure you they are true. Inside my new daughter’s closet is a hanging plastic rack literally jam-packed with over one-hundred various headbands. We own so many that headband company stock has risen by like thirty-five percent since Laura became pregnant. They are displayed in glorious fashion in an intricate mosaic of colors and sizes as plentiful as heads themselves.

Upon walking through the door into her room, I found my Sadie wearing a little yellow and white outfit and her head adorned with an absolutely ginormous sunflower. It was so big that poor Sadie’s eyes were covered by some of the petals. I had to admit, it was one of the more adorable things I had ever seen.

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So we strapped her and her gargantuan sunflower headpiece in the car seat and made our trek to see her new pediatrician. After a short wait, a less-than short amount of paper work, and some short fussiness from munchkin, we were called back to the examination room. The nurse told us to undress her down to her diaper and to wait for the doctor to arrive.

Well, that’s no problem! She is had so many spit-ups and rabid, unbridled poopies that I often have to change her outfit two or three times in one sitting, or in the complete darkness of night with nothing to guide me except my sense of smell. So the stripping began and once I had her down to her diaper, what did my wife commence to do? Yep, she put back the sunflower back on her head yet again.

So picture in your mind this little newborn baby basically wearing nothing but a sunflower. It was horticulturally humorous. I guess the proud mommy was just determined to make sure Sadie was going to make the best impression possible on the new doctor.

These precious moments are so plentiful right now. Watching her movements. Listening to each of her strange sounds. Feeling the “sonic booms” of her burps. Dressing her up and showing her off. She is ours. And we beam with pride over every inch of her.

This “every inch” concept really jumped out at me when the pediatrician finally made her entrance. She began examining the baby for the first time and I found myself jumping ahead of her to tell every detail about Sadie that I know of… from the left foot that is sometimes “turned funny” from her prolonged position in the womb, down to the slight disfiguration of her head from being lodged in Laura’s pelvic bone– all normal stuff, of course.

I was like one of those alarmingly knowledgeable, more-than-slightly geeky, yet admittedly impressive sports fanatics who can instantly regurgitate (that’s called irony) every obscure statistic from the past twenty seasons of their favorite team… except I was spouting wet and dirty diaper stats instead. (If you are wondering who is winning, Sadie’s still in the lead by a poopslide!)

Doctor: “So, I see at birth that she weighed about… ”

John: (shouting and slightly out of breath) “Seven pounds, two ounces!”

Doctor: (a bit surprised at John’s unusually boisterous outburst) ”Uh huh, right. And she was about twenty inches long?”

John: “Twenty and a quarter to be exact!”

It was like I had a college degree in the field of Sadiedom. The doctor began poking, probing, and perusing little Sadie. I monitored the situation like a hawk. I began to realize that I knew more about this little person than I know about myself! I’m familiar with every nanometer of this little girl all the way down (or up) to her huge sunflower headband.

Then it hit me. Something I have heard plenty of parents say, but often dismissed as too touchy-feely. God feels the same way about his baby: me. What is the price of five sparrows—two copper coins? Yet God does not forget a single one of them. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows. Luke 12: 6-7 (NLT)

Jesus told his followers that the Father not only knows the comings and goings of every random sparrow in this world that falls to the ground, but he also keeps stats on how many hairs we each have on our heads. Currently, my hair statistics are nose-diving faster than those sparrows.

But seriously, hairs? Are you kidding me? I know a lot about Sadie, but I could not even begin to calculate how many precious hairs are sprouting on that smooth little melon she calls a head. Yet God knows. I envision the Father sitting around spouting off the personal statistics of his children to the varied hosts of heaven… not just because he can, but more so because he loves us enough to do so.

More than just your follicles, he also knows your faults. Your fears. He knows what areas of your life may still be “turned funny” because of the extensive amount of time you spent in your past. Yeah, he knows. And yeah, he still loves you. He even has huge “daddy-esque” plans to see you through to safety, health, and maturity.

The Father may not don your head with a huge sunflower, but rest assured that he monitors every infinitesimal detail of your existence. You are worth more to him than some kamikaze sparrow. His love is more than just informational; it is sacrificial.

Eternal.

Paternal.

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