by Candice Watters
Q: Recently my near-two-year-old son and I were talking about how he’ll have to give up his crib when the baby we’re expecting arrives. “When the baby’s born, he’ll sleep in the crib,” I said.
“No, I sleep the crib,” he said.
We talked about how the crib is for babies and we have to share and he got really sad about not sleeping in his crib. It made me sad too! Is that a normal response?!
Since you have done that transition a few times I thought you might have some wisdom for me. On the whole he is so excited about the idea of having a baby in our house “all the time” and will say “hi baby miss you”!
A: This is such a great question. And probably one of the first of an infinite number that will follow as your little one grows from baby to man.
His feelings and yours are normal, yes! And they reveal our hearts’ desire to cling to the familiar, as well as our need to cling to God as He transforms us from one degree of glory to the next (2 Corinthians 3:18).
This anxiety over having to give his crib up for his new baby brother or sister presents a prime opportunity to pray with him for help and the Helper. Pangs of sadness are signs of growth–he will have a privileged role as first born son, to lead in love, all the children God sends into your family. That leadership, if it is faithful, will involve sacrifice. Jesus is his model, and it’s Christ’s example on the cross that will give Your son, as it gives to all who trust Him, the power to do it.
How kind God is to use the joys of family life together to sanctify us. As mom to your children, you’ll have many opportunities for just this sort of eternal conversation. And the beauty of discipleship is that no experience is wasted; everything in life points to the giver of life, even anxiety over giving up the crib. May The Lord grant you wisdom for this and all that follows.
Note: I was the first-born in my family, till my sister and now friend, was born. Here we are today, 41 years later.
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