RAISING A DAD – 16 February 2014

Stuff it!

The last week has been filled with leaving parties and baby showers.

As we sat down tonight we looked at our living room (normally a shrine to both my wife’s Scandinavian heritage and dislike of mess) and the floor is covered with toys, clothes, books, toiletries and gifts.

We’re blown away by the kindness and generosity we’ve been shown since we found out The Dude was coming, and this weekend we’re humbled again by the brilliant people we work, do church and share life with.

We were warned that babies come with lots of stuff and The Dude, it seems, will be no different.

The temptation to buy more…, stock up on…, treat him to another…is already huge for me.

A gadget for this, an outfit for that, that toy he’s sure I’ll love…wait, that’s not right, is it?

Whole stores devoted to filling our house with more things.

Whole industries trying to scare us into buying this safety feature, or that extra thing that can help guarantee your child’s security…because you wouldn’t want to be a bad parent would you?

And so even as I sit surrounded by the fruits of our loved one’s generosity and knowing we have more than enough, I still find myself googling for more.

I’m aware of my own love of “stuff” – in recent years I’ve tried to curb it, sometimes successfully, others not so. And here in the prospect of my first child seems an ideal excuse to feed my habit.

It’s not the same if it’s for the baby.

This is sacrificial, me giving up things to buy him things.

I imagine I could convince myself of that quite easily, and yet here I am not able to push the consumer button just yet.

Because if I want The Dude to value people over possessions.

To love my presence over my PIN number.

And to strive, work hard, and understand money as a means of blessing others (as so many others have done for us and him this weekend) – I need to up my game.

I’m going to screw this up.

I’m going to buy unnecessary toys, cute but excessive clothes, and gadgets that I’ll explain are all about safety…but in the midst of my inconsistency and failing I’m going to try and teach my son that there’s more to life than stuff.

And who knows, maybe one day he’ll teach me a thing or two about it in return.


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