THE SIMPLE WAY TO RAISE A PRO-LIFE CHILD IS TO CELEBRATE LIFE.
We already do this in many ways in nearly every American household but we can build on it in a more intentional way. Do you celebrate your kiddo’s birthday? Do you remember how you felt about your birthday as a kid? It’s just all about YOU and it’s FANTASTIC. The biggest complaint you’ll hear from twins or kids with a Christmas birthday is that they have to share THEIR day. As a child, you are the MOST in touch with your ego that you will ever be. Wouldn’t it be great to tap into that self-importance and use it to give our next generation a fundamental understanding of the beauty and significance of life? All we have to do is think outside the birthday box. WHAT IF we celebrated the day our life began just as gaily as we celebrate the day your mother gave birth to you? WHAT IF we put away our anachronistic stuffy issues with talking about conception and instead we raised our kids knowing and celebrating their LifeDay with the same tangible vigor that you remember from the first birthday cake you can recall or the anticipation of not being able to sleep knowing the next day would bring on your first taste of “double digits”. That kind of KNOWING who you are and when you began is meaningful insight into grasping the importance of ALL LIFE from it’s beginning. “A person’s a person no matter how small.”
SO HOW DO WE MAKE LifeDays A THING?
For starters, come up with the date for your child’s LifeDay. Some people have this down to a science. As a Natural Family Planner, I had it written down like a crazy lady. That is NOT necessary. You can do the math and come up with an educated guess. Here’s a calculator if you want to plug in your family members’ numbers: Conception Calculator. This is not my calculator and there are lots of other ones on the internet to use.
I came up with this LifeDay idea when my third baby hadn’t had his birthday yet. Everett and I were sitting on the couch with my two older kiddos. Wesley was 5 and Juliette was almost 3 (she’s the cutie holding the stethoscope up to Everett in the pic above). They were asking who IS this little boy in my belly. Can he hear us? Can he see us? What color are his eyes? Does he like vanilla ice cream or chocolate? Would he want to play with legos with them? The anticipation to KNOW their brother was intoxicating. I was graced with an idea in that moment. Their brother is a PERSON. He isn’t just GOING to be their brother… he IS their brother. In true parenting fashion, I made something up on the fly. I asked Wesley and Juliette when their life began. Wesley proudly answered, “5 years ago in Georgia”. NOPE. Wesley’s LifeDay was in Mannheim, Germany where we were stationed at the time. Drew had just gotten home from a tour in Afghanistan. I thought for a second about how wonderful it felt to be starting our family and heading back to the states with such hope and aspiration in our hearts. Wesley’s life with us had certainly begun long before the day I happened to give birth to him. I could just melt into those memories, but pull it together, mom. Your children will flit from the topic if you don’t seize the moment NOW. So I ran (well… waddled) to get a globe and show Wesley and Juliette when and where their life actually began. Buying time, I pointed to San Antonio where we were currently stationed. As for Juliette, I happened to know off the top of my head that Veteran’s Day in Las Vegas (no, I’m not kidding and that’s why I can remember it without a calendar) was definitely her LifeDay. I pointed to Las Vegas up here not so far from Arizona where she was born. Wesley’s date took a minute, but while I was calculating, I spun the globe WAY over to Germany and told Wesley his life began HERE, 9 long months before we checked into the hospital in Georgia to give him his birthday. January 18th, 2007 is what I settled on for Wesley. This was FUN so we calculated my LifeDay and my husband’s and their new baby brother’s and anyone else we were curious about. We decided we should celebrate our LifeDays every year from now on because what kid doesn’t want to celebrate another ME day?! We did just that when Everett’s LifeDay because his was actually the first one to come around. We enjoyed the day thinking about how different our lives would be if Everett’s LifeDay had not come to be. This tiny 15 week old baby had changed our lives forever and so had Juliette and so had Wesley. So now we have a tradition that the LifeDayer chooses something delicious for us to eat and a fun family outing, whether it’s a camping trip or a day at the zoo or a fun movie night or whatever feels like a joyful commemoration of the start of ME!!!
BUT SERIOUSLY, WHY BOTHER?
Parenting is hard. Why add another thing for me to have to remember and do? Because children are ego-maniacs. The fastest path to true understanding for them is self-important evidence. My life began at my conception, my beginning, on my LifeDay. Therefore, I should be judicial in handing out LifeDays because there are no takesies backsies. There is only starting a life and ending it and I am capable of both. Wesley is 11 now and his LifeDay is a part of him. A few weeks ago he saw me watching an interview on TV with a person discussing the changing late-term abortion laws. He asked, “What’s abortion?” NOT how I would have liked to broach the subject, but we were in it, so I had to say something. I was so very relieved. This was my big moment and it went something like this. “An abortion is when you don’t allow a person who has had their LifeDay to have a birthday. There are lots of reasons this happens to over 2500 people a day in America and every one of those reasons is sad and unfortunate.” No need to start a long a parental condemnation of those who make a choice that is perfectly legal in America or hop up onto my well worn political soapbox or start spewing some Catholic religiosity code unearthed from a cobwebbed corner of my own childhood brain. Without another word, Wes curtly said: “I would never do that to someone.”
MY WORK HERE IS DONE, FOLKS!! HAZAHHH!!!
But seriously, if I never do anything else right for the rest of my life, I can go to my grave with that one little statement from my 11-year-old son echoing in my ears and it will all have been worth it. I know that his pre-teen ethos may come to blows with his teen and college years mind. I also know that there are many more moments to come that I will use the LifeDay foundation I have built to help my kids navigate their world and they won’t all be as glorious as this one. BUT, this first tiny victory was the motivation I needed to get off of my rear end and tell the world about my big idea. You having taken the time to learn about my LifeDay idea means the world to me. I would LOVE a glimpse of how you have managed to integrate this celebration into your family life so PLEASE tell me your plan or thought on it so that I can share and grow this LifeDay celebration.
I am going with a group of girlfriends this Sunday to see the movie Unplanned. I CAN’T WAIT. This song just says it all for me…
 Seuss. (1954) Horton Hears a Who! /New York : Random House,
 2500/day Statistic based on 2014 Abortion statistics from Guttmacher Institute:
Guttmacher Institute (2018, Jan). Induced Abortion in the United States.