VALLEY CITIZEN • July 31, 2013 • A15
Major league rest
Well, I reckon’
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kids realize it yet, they were learning about Jesus’ teachings without even cracking open a Bible. I’ve met people from all different walks of life and faiths in my long 21 years of life. But what’s the same in every faith I have learned about is the influence adults have on the children. Kids soak up everything around them. For example, if you make the mistake of teaching a group of fourth graders how to play red rover, expect to play it anytime there is a lull in the day.
I still have a whole lot to learn about this world, but what I do know is that what you do matters. I saw the faces of stressed out volunteers who were worried about keeping the kids entertained. What they did that week was not done in vain. While we might not see it just yet, someday those kids will be in college and realize they need a bigger power in their life. And they just might remember one of those songs where they ran in place and crossed their arms as a shield. “Do not fear. Do not run away. Don’t lose hope, the battle is the lords.” 2 Chronicles 20:15.
continued from A10
kid’s illness developed sometime over the weekend, and my wife awoke making references to several episodes to which I have no recollection. To say someone slept like a baby is confusing to new parents. To say someone slept like a husband is crystal clear. That said, I did my time Sunday night, and it wasn’t pretty. When a family friend heard our boy was sick, she asked if we needed her to come over and hold him. I thought this was a little ridiculous at the time. She had raised three kids, but had she developed some revolutionary method of holding a baby that would make a difference? No. But I learned Sunday night why the offer was made. Sick babies don’t just want your company, they want to be held and, oftentimes, walked around the house. Pause for a second and the screaming begins again. Sit down in the rocking chair, and you’re toast. All the work you did to soothe that little child will be lost, and you’ll have to begin again. The wife and I did sleep training several weeks ago, and I did great. You see, sleep training requires that you let a baby cry it out. You reduce his or her dependence on you by eliminating nighttime feedings. Because our kid’s nursery is right next to our bedroom, we slept out on the foldout couch for a week. Just like his dad, my boy started sleeping through the night. It’s amazing how quickly you can become accustomed to getting a good night’s rest. You then take that away, and it’s a tough but effective tool in wanting to promote the change necessary to achieve sleep once again. While parents may have different methods of raising their children, the one common denominator is how well they sleep. It is a measure that parents take great of pride in, even though they don’t always have a lot to do with it. Can my boy pitch a perfect game or rock his SAT scores? No. But that kid slept ten hours last night, and I feel like carrying him around town on my shoulders, handing him a trophy and calling the local newspaper to write up his accomplishment.
Every parent likes to brag on their kid. It starts with the Apgar score and accelerates into every conceivable measure and percentage available. In many ways, early achievements have nothing to do with the child, but, rather, are a sort of unique yet passive accomplishment of the parents. It’s not so twisted to take pride in what our children have done, but the dark side of that is defeat. My son scored the highest ranking available in the delivery room, but he has fallen off the mark a little since then. In anticipation of his first birthday, I was preparing my speech for his party, at which time I wanted to Hope Strong thank my wife and everyone else involved in the fact that Hope Strong V was not sick for the first full year of his life. But then he went to day care, or maybe it was the Rexburg water park, and he got some sort of infection that fouled his mood completely. After a couple visits to the doctor, we weren’t sure if it was his ear or his bladder, but our generally jovial character was reduced to rag doll status. He went limp with the illness, and his parents were terrified with his lethargy. With limited communication skills, our kid couldn’t tell us where it hurt, and the not knowing is sometimes the hardest part, apart from the not sleeping. I’ve never been waterboarded, but what is the point? Why would you need to develop any sort of torture beyond sleep deprivation? I think you also reach an extraordinarily fragile place when lack of rest is mixed with equal parts screaming baby. If it’s your kid, and he’s sick for the first time in his life, you’ve got all the elements needed to bring two strapping adults to their knees. Actually, I just had one bad night. The
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