Actor Alec Baldwin’s wife Hilaria recently posted an Instagram message of her sorrows after her baby died. “We are very sad to share today that our baby passed away at four months,” she wrote. It was the shattering of hopes and dreams.
She received an outpouring of sympathy from fans. It was touching to read such heartfelt loss for a baby that was never born but was four months old in the womb.
Even more thoughts turn to another baby in the womb. This one eight months along and carried by a young Jewish girl. Her pregnancy is remembered every year at this time because of the great hope that it brings. So great is that hope, more people know this child’s birth date than any other.
When the child was born, the ruling king sent soldiers to kill him, and to be sure there was no mistake, the king ordered his solders to kill every child in town two years old and under. But this child and his parents had slipped away.
When the child became a man, his teachings were revolutionary. For that, he was executed. But before he died, he left another in charge, who was also executed. The next 24 leaders were executed. No free speech for them.
At this time when his mother was heavily pregnant, she could not have known that when her son would be born, his plan for the world would take centuries to spread far enough and wide enough to become the underpinnings of what we now call the western world. His ideas would spawn an education system, universities, hospitals, social services, churches, family life and a morality and a legal system with the opportunity of fairness for all, creating the greatest civilization ever to have inhabited earth; the most prosperous and most free. Our current generation seems intent on dismantling it all. But it shows that one man can make a difference. Said a friend: “One man with 10 friends can change the world.”
This young mother-to-be was filled with hope but she could have chosen to see a burden. Our current generation encourages young men and women to see the burden and seek a “solution.” But viewing pregnancy as a problem is often the problem. Each child can make a difference and each adult can make a difference in each child.
How often and how sad when we are told to count the costs, including financial, of a child. It pales in comparison to the possibility of what that child can become and the delight in that journey. Money can’t buy that. For so many parents, raising children is the best time of their lives and their most important mission. This time of year reminds us that babies bring us hope and give their parents more than the parents can give them. Hilaria Baldwin knows this. It’s why she laments. It’s why she has four children. It’s why she looks forward to more.
Patrick Meagher is editor of Farmers Forum and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.