Happy Birthday, Kristin!
Last Saturday, our oldest daughter Kristin celebrated her 36th birthday. It hardly seems possible that this life changing event occurred to Janet and me so long ago. I remember it like it was yesterday. And to think about the journey our family has been on since the birth of Kristin is almost more than I can comprehend. We are so much older and wiser now – and our lives have been made richer, not only through the birth of Kristin, but as a result of Jill and Andrew also. Each one of our kids possesses unique qualities, and someday I am sure that I will talk about them all, but this post belongs to Kristin, in recognition of the anniversary of her birth.
Janet and I had been married almost two years when it was time for Kristin to enter the world. Janet had been diagnosed with a thyroid condition, and in fact, the doctors were very careful to monitor her, because any adverse changes in her thyroid couldn’t be corrected until after Kristin was born. And so even though we lived in Darien, IL at the time, and local hospitals would have been much closer, and more convenient, Janet’s team of specialists was located at Rush-Prebyterian St. Luke’s Hospital in downtown Chicago. Great medical care, but it left something to be desired from a physical perspective back in those days.
I guess that I should tell you that Janet went into labor the evening of June 23rd, 1975, and Kristin wasn’t born until 12:32 pm on the 25th! So Janet was in labor more than 36 hours before our first daughter arrived. And in June of that year, there happened to be a change in the procedures that allowed the father in the delivery room; so you can bet that I wanted to be there.
When the time came, I remember the doctor asked me if I wanted our first child to be a boy or a girl (we did not know in advance) – and I said “a girl” – no doubt about it. I remember telling him that I had two brothers and two uncles, but no sisters and no aunts, so I really wanted a daughter. And several minutes later, Kristin was born. It was incredible. She was whisked away for her first physical; due in part to how long it had taken her to be born.
Now I had always heard that a father could recognize his child without ever having laid eyes on her before. So I wanted to test this out. Even though I had a glimpse of Kristin, it was very brief, and so the nurses agreed to try an experiment with me. They would close the curtains in the nursery and then cover all the name tags for the girl babies – about 30 of them in the nursery the day Kristin was born. Then, when I was ready, they would open the curtains and I would try to pick out our daughter, just by looking through the window. Pretty neat, huh?
So all the floor nurses were helping out, and excitement was building to see if I could correctly identify Kristin. When everything was ready, the curtains parted. All the nurses starting laughing; because there were 31 black babies, and in the middle of the group, one white baby! They all thought that was hysterical. I have to admit that it never occurred to me that Kristin was the only white child born in the hospital for three days – but that was the case. And believe me – I have re-lived that story every year on Kristin’s birthday. I guess that I should confirm that I correctly identified Kristin…..
And since that day, life with her has been great. It is impossible to be around her and not have a great time. She is funny, uninhibited and always in the center of the action. Her education is the field of teaching and she has a PhD. in Leadership and Organizational Development. She writes children’s Sunday school curriculum for a church near our home. And Janet and I are ecstatic that she is a devoted Christ follower; and using her passion for teaching children so that they may have Christ centered lives as well. Tonight’s verse is an easy one – an obscure verse from John’s 3rd Epistle, verse 4 – ” I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth – “And while John was talking about children in the generic sense, it is just as convicting when it is your own genetic children; or the children Kristin is now teaching to follow the Lord.
So my encouragement today is to make sure that you stay committed to modeling a Christ-like lifestyle for the sake of your children. And my prayer is that when that gets difficult, God will fill you with His divine peace and wisdom – because kids – no matter how much we love them – can test even the strongest among us. So here’s to our children – and all the joy they ultimately bring us when they walk with the Lord. Have a great day…..