One day my wife is leaving detailed instructions about when to feed our baby girl. The next day my baby girl is handing out wedding instructions.Sunrise, Sunset.
Last night my daughter, Allison / Allie, who is scheduled to be married on Saturday, published a detailed explanation of the schedule for the week. She personalized each copy of the wedding instructions with a particular person’s responsibilities highlighted in his or her respective copy. Marching orders for the Brauns men feature more detail than field instructions for the battle of Antietam.
Allison’s brother, Christopher (He answers to Usher #1 this week) went to work at 5:00 AM. Hence, he did not receive his orders until dinner time at which time he was expected to absorb the information between bites.
Allison doubtless quizzed Christopher before work this morning. She has been getting up with him at 4:15 A.M. to enhance her productivity.
Back to dinner for a moment – – the Brauns men are all losing weight – – not just because we are reading the wedding instructions over dinner, still less because we have targeted weight loss (Tuxedos have built in elastic after all!)- – but because we are eating at the same table as everyone else. Jack Sprat ate more fat.
But I digress.
Some have suggested that Allie, in dispensing schedules, is following my example. And while there may have been a time or two when I seemed a bit goal oriented in life, I would point out that the women in our house have always been the ones pounding out the cadence.
To document my point, I am providing the below letter that I wrote to Allison on November 3, 1994. Notice the letter includes a detailed schedule Jamie gave me so that I would know my responsibilities.
I haven’t written anything down for some time. Sorry. Mommie is off at some pastors’ wives’ retreat and you and I are alone for the first time. You have decided that you don’t want any kind of bottle so I only fed you cereal. It will be interesting to see if you sleep through the night.
You really know me now. One of our (you and I) favorite things is for you to cough….I then give a fake cough back and we start doing it back and forth. Intellectually it probably isn’t one of my more stimulating conversations. But, it is one I would rather have than practically any other in the whole world.
I continue to be amazed at your relationship with your mother. You know each other so well. She has this little schedule that she follows religiously with you. She even typed instructions up for me on the computer. They are enclosed in the box below just the way she left them.
|7:30 – 8:30||She will wake up for the day.Feed her a bottle of breast milkAbout 1/2 hour later you can feed her a 1/2 bowl of rice cereal made with a little pear juice and the rest water. The consistency would need to be somewhat like mashed potatoes.|
|10:30||If she starts to get a little fussy she may be ready for her morning nap depending on how early she woke. Lay her in her bed with a pacifier in her mouth and the rest at the top left corner of her bed and give her a burpy. Turn her tape on the right over and turn it on. The volume is set you do not need to mess with that. (I would advise only letting her sleep for an hour then she will take a good afternoon nap)|
|11:30-12:00||Feed her a banana. You will need to put it in a bowl and mash it with a fork. She will eat the entire thing. If she still acts hungry give her some applesauce, which is in the refrigerator. After she has had that then give her another bottle of breast milk. She will not drink much.|
|1:30||Lay her down for her afternoon nap. Do the same as you did for the morning nap.|
|4:30-5:00||Give her a breast milk bottle.|
|6:00-6:30||Give her two ice cubes of anything that is in the freezer. Put them in a bowl and microwave it for 1 minute. Give her 3/4 bowl of rice cereal made with a little pear juice and the rest water. The consistency would need to be somewhat like mashed potatoes.|
Really, though, the logistics of things are not what amazes me. Rather, it is how comfortable you are when she holds you, how she knows just how to handle you when she changes your clothes, how excited you are to see her.
By the way, you get so excited these days. You wave your arms and bounce when you see Mommie or me. Sunday I was preaching in Algona (they had a kind of homecoming thing) and you looked up and saw me sitting on the platform and got all excited. That meant so much, I almost got a little misty on the spot.
It may be fair to say that your favorite thing in the whole world is to pull my hair. You love to do that. Every time you pull it, you start laughing and get all excited. Of course, I love it. As long as I have hair Allison, you can pull it.
Allison, without question you are our greatest joy, without question. For that, will you put up with our weirdness and still come and see us even when you don’t need us? We certainly hope so.
Your Dad who loves you immensely.
P.S. We are getting a new sofa and chair. The green and blue Rowe thing that you probably will think is incredibly old when you read this. Well, we agonized over the decision and now Mommie flying high. She will be so excited when it comes next Tuesday.