January 25, 2004

Now We Are Two

Two years ago prior the very moment I am typing this, Aidan was pulled from the womb and his arrival announce to the operating theatre. After 52 hours of labour, Mrs H was subjected to an emergency c-section. It was an unforgettable experience. It was joy and fear at their highest levels mixed together because Aidie didn't want to breathe initially and the consultant paediatrician was called to theatre. However after just a few moments of attention, all was well. Within minutes after this, I put his first nappy and clothes on him.

Because the event is so unforgettable, it may seem contradictory to say that it is difficult to remember life before Aidie. It is like he has always been a part of our lives. I vaguely remember the 2 years of married life when our schedule wasn't completely beholden to the needs of the child, but it is all in the dim and distant past. (That being said, Mrs H is convinced that I haven't broken free from the years of bachelorhood when my life revolved entirely around myself.) Or as we began to say soon after his arrival, "Everything is about Little Boy."

Mrs H's best friend just had her second child and as we were visiting them I looked at the newborn and realised two things. First, I would never name a child "Alfie". His name's not Alfred - just Alfie. Anyhow, second, so much happens in the first 24 months of post-natal life (not suggesting that extraordinary don't happen in the nine pre-natal months). Just two years ago, Aidie was as tiny (give or take a couple of pounds) and helpless as Alfie. Today, in some ways, it is hard to believe that he is only two.

I marvel more and more at the amount of information he has absorbed and the rate at which he is absorbing it. He may not be able to say a lot of complete sentences, but he has an amazing vocabulary. He has, for example, learned just about every unsanctified word in my repetoire. He has practically memorised his favourite books, not to be able to recite them, but he can fill in the next word wherever there is a pause in the reading. I thought this was limited to the current bedtime books he likes, which are quite short and simple. I learned from Mrs H that he can even do this with the more complex and tongue-twisting Cat in the Hat.

I've mentioned before that he knows the gist of all of the stories in his Bible story book and can describe the action in the illustrations. It seems like only yesterday that he was only looking for pictures of infants so he could point and say "Baby!" Not surprisingly his first favourite story was that of Solomon, the two mothers and the two babies.

Aidie is very far from being helpless. While I have been jealous of any of his contemporaries who can speak fluently (though Mrs H has tried to console me my suggesting that this is because they are abnormal), he has certainly excelled physically. He has very advanced fine motor skills, untying knots and opening triple-action stair gates. He is very strong (which is good for carrying the shopping) and can run very fast (which is not good for taking him shopping).

One of the down-sides of being an older parent is the perception of time. For a parent of 20, it takes just as long for a child to grow up as it does for a parent of 40 (or in my case, weeks shy of 40). However, having been 20, I know how much faster time seems to pass. In the blink of an eye, Aidie will be grown. The available days to pray for him to make the right decisions and follow the right paths are so few. The power of those prayers is so weak.

It is moments of realisation such as this that it is comforting to remember that we do not pray alone on this side of heaven. We have committed him to the prayer list of our fathers among the saints Aidan of Lindisfarne and David of Wales. It is doubtless through their prayers more than mine (and certainly more than from my example) that he loves Jesus like he does (and has good developing Christology, but more on that another time).

Holy Father Aidan, pray to God for us!
Holy Father David, pray to God for us!

Lord, remember your servant Aidan and grant him many years!

Posted by david at January 25, 2004 12:49 AM | TrackBack

To: Aidan C/O Daddy David

Many, many years to you Aidan!!!

Posted by: aaron at January 26, 2004 07:37 PM