Wednesday, January 27, 2010
I wanted to share a story from my early parenting years...
that shows the difference in how I saw GOD then, and how I see GOD now...I hadn't thought of this in awhile, till this morning when a friend of mine mentioned that her oldest son lost his first child to SIDS. It's funny how one's thoughts can suddenly zoom back...
I was 22 when my first daughter was born and crib death was just becoming "big". I'm sure it had been around for forever, but it just wasn't known as "crib death" and it wasn't big in the media. When the media latches on to something, it makes it all so much more "dramatic" you know?
Anyway, I was in the process of becoming a Mormon back then, and Mormonism is very fundamentalist (even though I didn't know that word yet). And becoming a Mormon on top of all the Revelation seminars I'd gone to (sponsored by various Seventh Day Adventist groups) had convinced me of one thing...
I was a wretched sinner who was one 1,000th of a millimeter of going straight to hell. And along the way to hell, GOD could reach out and smite me in any way he chose because of my bad behavior. This abject terror of this hands-on, smite-at-will GOD affected my fear of crib death because I JUST KNEW that the main way GOD would smite me would be to hurt my child. (Parents out there will know of what I speak here).
So, every single morning I would lie in my bed, listening for her to make a sound, terrified that I would go into her room in the morning and find her dead, GOD's punishment for my vile life. I was literally imobilized until I could hear a noise from her in the morning. I lived in an L shaped trailer at the time, and out my bedroom door was a back door into the living room. I could go out and back in and totally bypass her room. Then I'd putter around in the kitchen waiting for that noise, so I could go hold my daughter. This lasted probably her whole first year of life.
I reflect on this terror because I was a fundamentalist throughout my whole first 4 children's lives and my tension, my fears, probably affected them greatly (not to mention my whole Revelation/Apocalypse obsession). And for that I am so sorry and hope they can forgive me.
I was more centrist for the last two children and I thank GOD for the lessening of fear, even with Sean being born with a heart condition. (I did keep him by my bed his first few years, but that was practical as well as fear of his heart stopping, and it wasn't that terror of GOD - although that whole GOD will smite me theme ran rampant in my heart/mind after he was born with an imperfect heart and led to such a screaming/crying match between myself and GOD...well, you'll just have to imagine it if you can).
Ok, don't know why I was compelled to share this at this time, but I was..