Father of a Teenage Girl: HELP!
Well, Gentle Readers, I knew this day would get here, but I am still not ready. I have become the father of a teenaged girl!
Yes, 13 years ago, today, Katharine (Kate) E. Westmoreland-White brought forth her firstborn daughter. She couldn’t wrap her in anything because the nurses pulled her away to clean her up (she was a mirconium baby) and Kate did not get to hold her for over an hour! Molly cried until she heard me say, stupidly, “Holy Cow, I have a daughter!” At this, apparently recognizing my voice from all those conversations I had with Kate’s belly, her unfocused eyes tried to find me and she stopped crying–briefly–to seek me out.
I have been wholly hers ever since.
Molly Katharine White, named for the famous Baptist theologian who introduced (and later married) her mother and me and for her mother and grandmother, is now 13 years old. Look out world, here she comes.
What she is, now: A child of God by both birth and new birth (She confessed Christ and was baptized last year). [For my reflections at the time of her baptism, read here and here.] The delight and exasperation of her parents. The friend and bane of her younger sister, Miriam. A brilliant scholar in middle school. A passionate advocate for the earth and for peace. A willing servant in church.
What she will be? Who knows. I don’t hold out much hope that either of my daughters will follow either their mother into pastoral ministry or my path as a theologian/philosopher–especially since we have been unable to keep earning our living at our callings. As of right now, part of Molly wants to work in the United Nations as an interpreter (she is good at languages). Another part would like to write fiction. And another part would love to work with animals in one of the biological sciences. Whatever she does, she will do well.
What she’ll always be: My little girl.
Update: How disturbing! Molly’s birthday is also the anniversary of the death (in 1918 ) of that great Baptist theologian, Walter Rauschenbusch! I hope there is no significance to the coincidence. :-)
Other great events of Church History on Molly’s birthday include:
- 25 July 325 Close of the Council of Nicea which gave us the Nicene Creed and condemned the heresy of Arianism.
- 25 July 1593 King Henry IV of France, raised Protestant (Huguenot), converts to Catholicism. It was once commonly viewed, at least by Protestants, that this was a political move, but Church historians of many different persuasions are now convinced that the move was a genuine conversion of conscience. Significantly, Henry continued to protect the religious liberty of French Protestants, promulgating the Edict of Nantes that did just that in 1598.
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