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Don't Be Spooked.

When I looked at Leo in the early days of his birth I often had pity on him.  I had never experienced such a sense of loss gazing into his alien face wondering what he saw and felt and loving him at the same time.  That was an incredible trial and a lot of tears were shed.  Now what?  I am kind of a shell.  The person I thought I was before he was born has evaporated, but no new content replaced it.  I am a shell, a parent ghost hovering around Leo waiting to be filled with substance.  Or at least filled with the everyday things parent are likely to take for granted about their children, like growth, health, complex interactions, personality, and potentiality for deep bonds of love and trust.  All of that has a big question mark on it. 
What will it be like raising my son?  He will grow, as he is growing, but I find myself wanting more from him.  We are in the vast ocean of yearning but will our desires be met?  I've written about desires before but each glimpse of his personality is like a gourmet appetizer that reminds us about the main course but our hopes to indulge in that meal are forbidden.  Strange metaphor, but really we are kept in a "fast-like" state with Leo because nothing is guaranteed especially the first year.  Hydran kids are all different.  He may be riddled with health problems or he may coast through for a while. 
Even though the shadows of our fears often recede to the periphery the darkness still spins a subtle web.  Each glorious vista we get into his unique personhood is also a reminder that our efforts will be a sparse garden of simple pleasures without human complexity.  This is a void I face everyday when I look at my son.  Is that wasteland going to take over?  Or will all the other joys and blessings in my life be able to flower and bloom and crowd out the emptiness?
This battle is fought on a daily basis and it takes on a ghostly character, like a part of you that you know will always be there but won't go away, like an unwelcomed guest. 
Why do we glorify the evil spirits and the hauntings  on this most popular Halloween holiday?  If everyone took off the mask they would be able to see the "real" trials and not the things they create and the phantoms they worship and destroy at their whim.  Yet somehow it helps to hide behind the multitude of choices like who to dress up as for Halloween and what party to go to :).  Eventually the empty places will come to light when something you don't choose, something that is real, rises.  This is the challenge of many parents who raise children like Leo.  Many have come through it with greater wisdom.  We can see glimpses of the "others" in our own experience thus far, and it is indeed a spooky venture into the caverns of the heart.  Spooky, but not fearful. 
Pray for us sinners on this Halloween weekend.



  1. Our hearts are deep deep caverns which can only be satisfied when filled by Love. Thank God for the glimpses you are having of His presence in the caverns of your hearts made possible through your very precious son. You are way ahead of most of us. Thank you for your encouragement to search my heart for what is truly real.

  2. Peace to you too, Justin, and many prayers! What else could we say? Your son is sweet and wonderful as he is - today, this hour, now. It is very challenging to raise a special child like him, although every child is challenging for his parents! But every step you take with Leo leads you over the spooky void. And there are many thoughts that are comforting. For example, your son is never going to wear "a mask", no matter how Halloweenish the world around him will be. In this matter he joins the rank of saints from the start who sought in their life only one image to fit in - Christ's. Also Leo is blessed not to have multitude of our temptations and passions, hence he is light-years ahead of us. And if we extend our thoughts about his future from "in this world" to "of this world", where we all sooner or later will meet after we die, we most probably will find your son in perfect health, and more loving, mature, and wise than many of us, because, as we believe, "there is neither sickness, nor sorrow, nor sighing, but life everlasting". Then and there, all your parental desires about your son will be fulfilled, you only need to be more patient than other parents. Maybe this is the reason why God picked you as a father for a Hydran baby? Why God picks mothers for children with special needs we already know from one of the previous posts. ;-)


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