Rite of passage parenting: Dear Titus
I want to apologize for calling you a gummy bear. When I first saw the sonogram, I didn’t know what else to call you. All I could see was a tiny, black-and-white, blurry figure all crunched up. I had to squint my eyes and rotate the picture to make out your head and something that looked like a leg.
I was so excited that we were going to have a gummy bear. Today, I was even more excited when I found out I’m going to have a grandson. I know we have a few more months until August when we get to meet face to face, but I couldn’t wait to write you.
First, let me introduce myself. My name is Walker Moore, and I am your grandfather on your dad’s side of the family. You’ll be the first one to carry on our family name for another generation. You must understand that you’re coming into a family that isn’t perfect . . . well, except for Grandma Moore. She’s closer than the rest of us. Let me give you a heads up on her. She’ll smother you to death and love you like no one else.
And me? I’m a pushover. The first time I heard about your existence, I went out within the hour and bought a soft, cuddly teddy bear for your room. No grandson of mine is going to come home without a teddy bear to cuddle up next to.
You also have an Uncle Jeremiah and Aunt Erin. They’re great people and have already bought you some clothes. And then you’ll meet Great-Uncle Gary. He’s the one who will make you laugh until milk spurts out of your nose. You have two more loving great-uncles on the Moore side of the family, Ronnie and Scottie.
Soon, you’ll discover something important about our family: we love Jesus and serve Him with all our hearts. Our prayer is that as soon as you get old enough, you’ll join us in our quest to share the love of Christ around the world. That reminds me: This “world” thing is very important to your granddad. Only weeks before your birth, I’ll be living in Panama to tell people about Jesus.
Titus, you couldn’t have a better mom and dad. They’ve been praying for you long before you became you. And in those prayers, they’ve felt led to name you Titus Wayne.
I really like that name. From the very first time I heard it, it welled up within me as the perfect one for you. Titus is such a powerful name. It means “honor.” Titus was given as a title to a person or persons who walked with integrity, with confidence and with a profound peace and strength. Your name brings to my mind a gentle giant. I’ve known some men like this, but they are few in number. They’re not talkative men who draw attention to themselves. When these men walk into a room, the spiritual temperature rises, and other men give way to their presence.
Looking at the sonogram, it’s hard to picture you as Titus the Honorable, but God had already written your looks, your personality, your character and your name into the DNA of the universe long before He flung the first star into the heavens or said, “Let there be light” (Gen. 1:3). God’s plan has always been that Titus the Honorable would be born in due time and in due season.
Titus Wayne, your destiny awaits you. You will only discover it when the creation (that’s you) walks in unity with the Creator Who designed him.
For three months now, I’ve asked God to be with our gummy bear. Today, for the first time, I called out your name in prayer. Titus, I asked God to strengthen not only your tiny body, but also your will to follow Him.
Right now, the hardest thing for me is trying to figure out what I want you to call me. I’ve had lots of suggestions, but at this point, I’m leaning toward Poppy.
Why do I like this name? It’s what your dad and Uncle Jeremiah called me as they were growing up. When they got into junior high, they started calling me Dad instead. When they made that switch, it left an empty place in my life. Poppy was what they called out when they were scared or needed help. It was what they called me as they climbed into the recliner, wanting to snuggle and feel secure beside me.
Oh, yes, I want to mention one more thing. I write a weekly column read by some of the most wonderful people who walk this Earth. And they wanted to let you know that they are praying for Titus the Honorable.