Advent devotion: My son’s lead
“You’re sort of a know-it-all,” my wife says lovingly after I tell her the theme for this year’s Advent blog. At first glance, the theme to Treasure and Ponder only got me pondering what to say. In my day-to-day life, in fact, I consider myself sure-footed in what I do – but I guess that lies in the eye of the beholder.
I credit this mindset to my experiences as a music teacher/director/conductor/(and why not) an only child. Whether it is song selection, voice placements, scheduling and/or other logistics, people rely on me to make sound decisions. My mantra has always fallen along the lines of “go with my gut.” If there was something that didn’t work, then I’ll apply that to the next time. Not much to ponder.
However, my now 11-month-old son Grayson is the complete opposite. Every step he attempts to make, every toy he grabs for, and every word he thinks he is saying is preceded with much contemplation. Everything that is presented to him is new. To watch him take the world in and soak it up is nothing short of amazing.
I discovered how much I cherish the time that we are together, because my typical split-second decision-making is drastically slowed down. I find myself challenged with the idea that I will either be reading Brown Bear Brown Bear or Dear Zoo to Grayson as he sits looking at one then the other. I can’t make decisions for Grayson on how to play or what to do. Instead, I am left wondering what will be his next move.
Most of the time his decisions bring him giggles and smiles. Sometimes, he wishes he didn’t try climbing over the ottoman and bump his head. Regardless the result, he took the time to consider the questions that life has to offer him.
It is through Grayson’s actions that I am reminded of the importance of taking the time to sit and ponder. There are many challenging questions that are being brought up all over the world today and answering with a “go with my gut” response would be a disservice.
I am going to follow my son’s lead and take a moment and try not to be the “know-it-all” my wife thinks I am.
Dan Pepper is a music teacher at Sudlow Intermediate and Youth Choir director at St. Paul. He and Melissa live in Davenport with their son Grayson.