By Jenn Wallace
So many of our beginnings start this way—two individuals who were bare and vulnerable, who trusted. There is something attractive and exhilarating in allowing someone to know you—it can feel like a big risk, opening to someone’s touch, gaze and trusting that person. The vulnerability in partnering and building trust is so needed in parenting. Whether or not a couple is able to conceive, raising a child requires naked vulnerability. If living with someone does not bring out all the details, good and bad, then raising a child certainly does. Babies produce all kinds of emotions in themselves and in our own bodies: sleepless hours, worry, and questions and struggles as they grow—which all require raw honesty. We cannot hide when we are naked. *
Babies start out, naked, trusting, completely needing their parents for everything. They have no idea that they are beginning. All they experience is new and a beginning: first cry, first smile, first foods, first words, first steps, first day of daycare, first day of school…. Life is full of beginnings for adults too: new town, new job, new community, new colleagues, new projects, new friends, new relationships, new knowledge and new stages in life. Beginnings can be scary at times and require a naked vulnerability. But they are also exhilarating and require risk and trust.
I am so grateful for the pillars I had growing up: my parents, faith, and education. They helped me embrace newness and pointed me towards good jobs and relationships. When I said my vows as a bride, I was full of hope and nervousness as I took on a new name and an additional identity. I did not know then, the extent to which I would trust my new husband. After soon-to-be 15 years, I am getting the idea. And to be honest, our best times do not always seem like the highlight reel, but they are real. When we shed our pride and hurts, that is often when we are closest. God created this vulnerability in us and it is good.
And now after close to ten years of teaching at one school, I am going to a different school; one that is new to me, this is a big change. I will connect with different staff, students, and families. Rather than looking at newness as change, which I can often be averse to, I need to see it from my Creator’s perspective: beginnings. I am beginning again in a beautiful and welcoming community and it will be okay.
*Genesis 3:8-10 “Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees. But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”
About the Author
Jenn Wallace lives in Saskatoon in a green house with John, Imogen and Isaac, and two dogs. Every weekday morning Jenn goes to kindergarten to learn and to teach. She still hasn’t graduated, but every year the kids change. Jenn loves to do other things like sing, teach judo, buy way too many children’s books, read, and watch her favourite shows with John. She still wants to learn to play her guitar. She loves her church family very much. She loves being a part of a faith community which is also why she loves Sister Triangle and the encouragement it gives her.