The Resurrection Reminds Us That Every New Life is a Miracle
This Easter my atheist, marine biologist father-in-law asked me to read something at dinner to commemorate the occasion. As the only religious fanatic in the family, I took this task seriously. After a little thought, I chose Dorothy Sayers’s inspiring 1938 essay “The Greatest Drama Ever Staged.”
Sayers addresses an audience for whom familiarity has made the story of Christ’s passion and resurrection boring. Her aim is simply to get us to take a fresh look at Christianity’s claims and see how extraordinary they are:
“This is the dogma we find so dull–this terrifying drama of which God is the victim and hero. If this is dull, then what, in Heaven’s name, is worthy to be called exciting? The people who hanged Christ never, to do them justice, accused him of being a bore–on the contrary; they thought him too dynamic to be safe. It has been left for later generations to muffle up that shattering personality and surround him with an atmosphere of tedium.”
I don’t know that I won any converts with my stirring oratory, but reading this piece aloud got me thinking about the many babies that were at our gathering. Nothing could be more ordinary than a baby–in a healthy society, at least. But each is also a one-of-a-kind miracle. My children are well past the extreme dependence of babyhood, and I’ve gotten used to thinking of them as full-fledged persons, with their own ideas and intentions (often irritatingly at cross-purposes with mine). How strange and wonderful, then, to gaze at the face of my 15-year-old (until being ordered to stop) and once again realize that somehow as clumsy and distracted an artisan as I had a share in creating her.
“He is risen,” is a powerful message indeed, and we should keep it fixed in our minds. But not so intently that we can’t marvel at the epic adventure each of us undertakes simply by existing in this fallen world.
Transporting one or even two babies is no problem; a baby carrier (Happy! makes nice ones here in the USA) or stroller or a combination of the two will serve you well. But what if you have three or (bless you!) more? That requires something with a bit more hauling capacity.
Fortunately, Align’s own expert baby wrangler Helen Roy has the lowdown on Four Game-Changing Stroller Wagons for Big Families. Do take a peek, if you or someone you love refuses to fight that natural natal attraction. These rigs are stylish, durable, and–it goes without saying–fully heir-conditioned.
You know how they say women love a sense of humor? Well, they really swoon for a guy who can make a baby laugh. Peekaboo is classic for a reason, but ideally, you should have a few more tricks up your sleeve.
Loveevery has an extensive list of “thoughtful, development-focused activities [that] can build your baby or toddler’s social-emotional awareness, cognitive abilities, and gross and fine motor skills,” broken down by age. Personally, I’ve always gotten some of my biggest laughs by winging it, but I’m rethinking my approach. I never would’ve come up with something like Laundry Basket Spider Web (pictured below) on my own.
Anyone who helped propagate the laughably fake campaign to brand Gavin McInnes as some kind of white supremacist gang leader has done American culture a great disservice. Dad blogging, Jackass-style stunts, fashion critiques, drive-time “shock jock” banter–this renaissance man of comedy can do it all.
Even after his widespread deplatforming, there’s plenty of McInnes to go around. His Get Off My Lawn podcast is still going strong, despite sidekick Ryan Katsu Rivera’s breathtaking incompetence. And plenty of his greatest hits can be found on YouTube, including an utterly essential video about fatherhood (McInnes has three kids of his own). “How to Fight a Baby” does just what it says on the tin, demonstrating various defensive maneuvers to deploy against an infant in berserker mode, including the extremely effective “blowing gently in their face.”
It’s hard to believe now, but midwifery was once exclusively practiced by women. Aspiring man-midwives were discouraged from being present at birth (gatekeeping), as male intrusion upon this traditionally female domain of expertise was considered unnatural (gatekeeping).
Pioneering Scotsman William Smellie (1697-1763) helped change all that. An apothecary and self-taught obstetrician who worked and taught in London, Smellie was the first to bolster time-honored, female wisdom with scientific techniques. He developed improved obstetrical forceps, resulting in safer labor and delivery, and was the first to document the entire natural birthing process. He also normalized the practice of medical students attending live births (women willing to serve as subjects received his midwife services for free).
As the “father of British midwifery,” Smellie was crucial in transforming childbirth into a procedure overseen by trained professionals. Today there is ample cause to suspect that our medicalization of a process that long predates hospitals has gone too far. But even as we embrace more “natural” ways of bringing children into this world, we should not forget the countless women and babies whose lives were saved by Smellie’s innovations.