In a previous post, I shared the points I prayed for every day when it comes to Caleb, my youngest who has moderate autism.
But I realize now that I would be remiss if I don’t also share likewise for my neurotypical firstborn.
So here I go.
In many ways, I have been richly blessed by him and his presence in our family. As our firstborn, Jaedon’s always been the one to “teach” my wife and me all about parenting, and to shape our journey as a family in so many ways big and small. We couldn’t have come this far without his “tutelage”.
So it’s only fair that I give him the most valuable gifts a father of the faith can give – the sharing of lives as a practical way to model and share God’s love. And prayer covers every day of the week (just like I do for his brother).
For the first day of the week, I would pray for Jaedon to always hunger for learning.
As a life-long learner and educator myself, it’s natural that this is a priority for me. That he is curious about the world we live in, and always carry a desire to learn and grow. But at the same time, I ask God to also help keep him humble, teachable, and, most importantly, that he be willing to share what he knows with others generously.
On the second day, I would pray that he develops in his areas of strength and talent.
My son’s been learning the violin since he was six. Five years on, he’s made significant progress and even came away with a distinction in his Grade 5 practical exam last year! (A proud and shameless daddy plug here!!)
He’s also shown dexterity in pencil sketching, as well as a keen interest in soccer and cycling. He also displays a flair for acting and cracking silly jokes. He also sings a mean (and I do mean “mean”) opera! I have hurting eardrums to prove it!
Of course, I never need my kids to be multi-talented or even highly proficient in any one thing. All I want as a parent is that my kids find their passions, and be given opportunities wherever possible to pursue them.
Midweek, I would pray for Jaedon to manage his emotions and interpersonal relationships well, and to do so in a way that honors God.
I can’t underscore enough the importance of this, especially given my own chequered history in these areas. My dysfunctional upbringing – lacking strong and responsible adult modeling by the men in my life (my deceased father and older brothers) has made me painfully aware of how one’s life can be forever derailed if these twin areas of emotional and interpersonal relationships aren’t navigated with care and a heavy dose of self-awareness.
And awareness of those around us, and what makes them tick.
It is my hope that he can manage these in ways that bring glory to God. Certainly, I continue to struggle in these so I hope he would at least get a headstart now compared to his old man.
Come Day 4 of the week, I pray for him to simply care, love, protect and (where needed) defend Caleb all his life. The reality is that when his parents are gone, his brother is all Caleb will have should Caleb never find a life partner (a distinct possibility that’s often crossed my mind and weighed down my heart).
It pains me each time I think of this, so I need to know that Jaedon won’t ever abandon his brother, the way my brothers have ignored me for most of my life, even today.
Maybe this is actually a prayer for me and Caleb, and not so much for Jaedon (sorry son to lay this on you!). It’s an eternal hope of mine that God will assure me in my final days that Caleb will be well cared for long after I’m six feet under.
On this day, I pray that Jaedon will always champion the less fortunate in society. That he will always stand firm and unafraid against bullies of this world, especially those who seek to undermine him out of malicious or jealous motives.
This is a prayer borne from my own painful life experience, of people who have tried in ways both overt and covert to put me down and take me out. While I admire many in this world who are able to ward off the “darts and arrows” their enemies assail them with, the way a duck can easily shrug off the water off their backs, I have never been skillful in this.
No surprise then that I still carry many of these mortally-wounding instruments on my person!
So even as I slowly try to pull them off of me, my wish is that my son will have a tougher armor on him to ward off such ‘attacks’. But more importantly, he will not sit idly by when others like me suffer but will stand up against the ‘bad guys’, and defend those who are defenseless.
In short, a brave and noble hero to rescue the downtrodden.
On this day, I pray for Jaedon to have an excellent attitude towards people and life in general, and to manage his time effectively across all that life and living will demand of him.
A most practical and helpful prayer I wish I had laid on me growing up, given how overwhelmed I can be throughout my years as an adult, especially when many demands of life come at me all at once! And made worse by people with different wavelengths who invade my world and wreak emotional havoc.
Last but not least, I will end the week by praying for him what I also pray for Caleb: to always honor, love, and cherish Jesus; and us their parents. (In that order)
For now, these seven areas capture my hopes and aspirations for my firstborn.
Of course, I’m not so naive as to expect all of these daily prayers to be answered in one fell swoop. Or even for every one of them to be fully and completely answered to my satisfaction.
But I do trust in the One I pray to.
And that is more than enough.
For me, and hopefully for my Jaedon too.