Kian Lochlyn Bell

Cavan feeding Kian for the first time
Cavan feeding Kian for the first time

Kian is here. My youngest son arrived a month early. His mom is doing well, looking pretty in her green and white summer dress with white flowers in her hair. She is amazing! Kian is still in the special care nursery. He didn’t know how to eat. While it is a problem he is rapidly improving. One cannot scoff at genetics; my family tree is known for knowing how to eat, and eat well!

Cavan is having a bit of a struggle with everything. He was as prepared as any four year old could be prepared. We talked about the baby growing inside for months before his arrival. We told him how great he was going to be as a big brother. We made sure to affirm to him that he was loved, and though a little baby takes a lot of mom and dad’s attention, we still loved him very much. Sigh, he still is struggling.

I am not sure that Cavan is even aware of his behavior. He is defiant, reverting to a sort of baby talk, and downright disobedient. I watch him act this out and try to help him through it. I don’t think that it is backed by motive. I don’t think he even thinks about it at all. He just knows that things are different, a sort of new normal. He also knows that somehow he now has to share the exclusive relationship that he has held with his parents. That doesn’t necessarily translate into a motive and response, just an uneasy feeling that things are not what they once were.

All of these things makes me wonder about church. It is because church is and has been such a big part of my life. I think back when I was a young believer, trying to find my place in the family of faith. I think about the heavy feeling in the pit of my stomach at some of the new arrivals. It wasn’t all the time, but sometimes new people would show up with similar gifts or even more developed ones than those I possessed. While never rude or unkind, I was often uncomfortable deep down to see the leaders in the church laughing and seeming to have a great time with the new arrivals. I wonder if somehow I was less than inviting, less than engaging, and less than loving. I wonder too if that is why sometimes a congregation seems closed to those who come through the doors. It’s ok for them to be there as long as they aren’t getting our attention, our thunder, our special place at the table. We aren’t rude or mean, just less than. Not motivated by malice, just changed by some uncomfortable feeling as we adjust to the new normal.

Cavan is a great and loving child. He wants to touch his new baby brother; to hold him and feed him. He loves it when Kian wraps his little hand and squeezes Cavan’s finger. He really does have a deep heart love for his new little brother. His behaviors, well, we can deal with those as they arise. I love them both with all of my heart. As Dad, I keep a watchful eye while trusting that the older child will play nice with the younger. I hope so. I want my family to live love and trust with one another. I think our Heavenly Dad wants us to live the same love and trust. I hope it is going well for you today. Welcome them in. Family is amazing, isn’t it?

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