We’ve all heard it. A common response to an even more common question (“So what are you hoping for there, champ?”), the soon-to-be mother or soon-to-be father responds with a smile, saying “Oh, it really doesn’t matter to us. As long as it’s healthy.” The soon-to-be mother then places her hands on her belly, looks down, and smiles. It truly does seem harmless, and even well intentioned, but I absolutely despise this saying, and I’ll tell you why.
“As long as it’s healthy” implies the connotation that if this beautiful and perfect and precious baby is born with any issues whatsoever, that it will in some way be a failure; that it will not be the cherished bouncing baby that the parents had always dreamed of. Every single child comes into this world with an individual life, a different personality, and a different future. Sure, many fathers imagine the years spend teaching their son the joys of athletics, and women swoon at the thought of their little princess on prom day.
But what happens if it doesn’t go as planned?
What if your child is born with a birth defect, or a genetic disease of some kind? What if your child’s life is slightly less “normal” than the life of their classmates and friends?
Of course I pray that my child will be born healthy and strong – as every parents would hope – but if God has other plans, there really isn’t a whole lot I can do about that, is there? It will mean only one thing to me, and that is that the life of my child will simply have a different definition of normal.
It would not make my child less perfect. It would not make my wife and I love our child any less.
Parents, love your children UNCONDITIONALLY, not conditionally based on the circumstances of which they are born. So please, no more of this saying. Value the perfect miracle that your child is for exactly who they are.