Observant readers of this blog might have noticed that I didn’t release a post on Monday. Sorry about that. My wife and I were busy welcoming our baby boy into the world. We just brought little George home today, and I have a few minutes to type this out while Mama and Grandma are spending some quality time together.
I’ve got so much exciting news to share! This week, in addition to becoming the proud father of a beautiful baby boy, I’ve also managed to become a certified swaddle ninja.
OK… I might have made that up. But the nurses did teach me how to do a very snug swaddle-job on George here, and as someone who didn’t even really know what swaddling was a few days ago, I’m really excited about this.
Swaddling isn’t complicated; it’s just a matter of folding a little blanket in such a way that it tightly wraps the child into what Valerie Hurwitz likes to call a baby burrito.
Anyway, the reason swaddling is so worthwhile is that it holds the baby firmly in place and gives them the sensation of being held, even when they’re lying in the cradle. This feeling of embrace is powerful stuff. As long as babies feel this way, they’re much less likely to cry or be fussy. This is a win/win for parents and child.
Our boy loves being swaddled. Unfortunately, he also hates it. He really likes to have his arms and legs free, and so after a little while basking in burrito nirvana, he inevitably starts squirming and kicking, worming his hands and feet out of the swaddle. With all this swaddling going on, I have my eye on a Munchkin Jelly Bean Reversible Sling, I cannot wait to take him on walks in the park in that!
His victory is short-lived. Once he’s free of his oppressive swaddling overlords, he quickly realizes that he’s no longer feeling held. Crying ensues. Nobody is happy.
I’m realizing that this newborn child isn’t really much different from me. I watch him, snuggled up in his swaddle, briefly enjoying the feeling of being held and comforted. And then I observe as he struggles and kicks until he’s free of the very source of his comfort. This process repeats itself: he gets what he wants, and then he struggles to be free of it, until he’s finally held and swaddled again.
Just like me. God has swaddled me so beautifully, so many times. God places me in situations where I’m held, protected, guided. Even if I don’t understand it, God has placed me where I’m meant to be. And I love it.
I also hate it. I want freedom, I want control, I want to kick away the blanket and move my hands and feet wherever I please. I’ve done this so many times, and every time, when I finally get the freedom I thought I wanted, I’m just left crying, waiting for Daddy to swaddle me back up.
So maybe I’m not a swaddle ninja just quite yet. But I’m going to keep working on it. Because I want to learn the wisdom and patience to recognize how God is doing great things in my life. Even when I feel constrained. Despite my desire to kick against the goads.
How is God swaddling you? What are the places, relationships, situations where God has placed you, even if you love it and hate it at the same time? What would it look like to wait in patience, trusting the one who wraps you up and cares for you?