My 3 self-inflicted sproglets
So you'll know that when someone referred to my children as
Self Inflicted Wounds when I spoke about taking them to school in rainy weather last week, I wasn't the happiest bunny in the box.
I hoped the guy was being humorous - I don't know him that well, but he is one of our church faithful and has always come across to me as someone with integrity. All I knew at the time is that he made the comment in the context of 'been there, done that' and although I felt his sympathy at my slight struggle, on reflection my annoyance at the term 'self inflicted wounds' started to fester and I decided to tackle him about it.
So today, on Remembrance Day, I bumped into him on the High Street, and we spoke about the joy of receiving life from God, and having children. And I learned these things about his family:
- He has one child, a grown-up police officer son, of whom he is amazingly proud.
- He has two grandchildren, on whom "you can't put any price" when they come up and say Grandpa to him.
- His wife, the mother of his one child, passed away a long time ago.
- She was the first person in the UK with no kidneys, to give birth.
- Her son weighed less than 2lbs at birth.
- They struggled eight years to have this gift from God, including many tests and hospital stays.
- They were told by medical experts that having a baby would be a medical impossibility.
- They refused to accept this diagnosis, and instead to accept God's plan to them.
Sometimes people can be flippant, sarcastic, and self-deprecating. I know this man wouldn't swap becoming a parent (and grandparent) for anything in the world. Although I still don't like children being referred to in the same breath as 'self-inflicted wounds', I am so glad I didn't get on my high horse about this, but instead carefully asked him to explain exactly what he meant by that phrase. He values his son so much. He just meant that, if you have kids, you've got to deal with all the difficult parts of that. And he should know.