Quasi-Indefatigable Xenolith



Babies Change Everything

It is improper to begin a supposed work of fiction with personal stories of the author, but you will find, in the course of this book and throughout this story as a whole, that I only occasionally behave properly.

I was once a very young man that had few cares and responsibilities. I graduated from high school, attended a bit of college, served as a missionary for my church, and married. Although I had to mature a touch for my new wife, we were able to live as house-sitters and earn the money required for our needs at menial service-sector jobs. There was no need to get particularly serious about life and the future for a couple just starting out.

Then, my wife became pregnant.

Suddenly, I was going to have a family and I was going to have to solely provide for my family's coming needs while my wife occupied herself with motherhood and homemaking. The pay from relatively unskilled labor wasn't going to be sufficient, so it was back to college in earnest, along with second and third jobs to accommodate a move to a nearby college town and residence in a tiny apartment. It was in these circumstances, poor as church-mice and stretched tightly around preparations for more prosperous opportunities in some distant future, that our first child was born.

As I said, babies change everything.

It is a situation that is common enough the world over, though I imagine it affects some couples more than others. My wife and I's childbearing years came at comparatively prosperous economic times in a relatively prosperous place, but so many other couples travel the road to maturity, the one that a baby forces you along, in much more trying circumstances and in far more difficult places.

Long ago and far away, a young couple realized they were going to have a baby and that some things needed to change.

We actually know very little about Alaedeus and Cassandra, for they personally kept no record of themselves. What we have of the lives of the parents of the Alaed nation before children are the second hand stories penned by their fourth child who was named Kiyami. These stories tell us that the couple lived in a land that was overrun by evil: violent, decadent evil. Alaedeus and Cassandra were nice-enough people who seemed to get along decently enough in spite of the circumstances they found themselves in, though they worked to keep themselves at a distance from the corruption around them. It was all manageable enough until the news came that they were soon to become parents.

What was once tolerable suddenly became decidedly less so as the young couple contemplated the world Alaedeus and Cassandra's child would grow up in. The chances of growing up decent, much less righteous, in such places and times seemed low and, given their resources and potential, there seemed no better circumstance to flee toward. Desperation settled on their humble situation and they turned to the only source of help that they could think of: God.

If you are unfamiliar with God, as most people are, you might think that petitioning him was a foolish waste of time, something akin to earning your household income through gambling or spending one's time tossing a penny into the air on the hope that two will fall to the earth. Most people find a belief in God to be a cousin to a belief in leprechauns or fairies, something a bit whimsical and indicative of a less than grounded character. From my perspective however, it is only sensible to turn to the most powerful, willing, and altruistic person one can find in times of extreme need, no matter what personal cost may be exacted. In the case of God, of course, the price is an absolute devotion to him and his purposes, which is small in comparison with the potential joy and opportunity he offers in exchange. In the case of the founding couple of the Alaed, the opportunity comes from a man simply called "the Mariner", who takes Alaedeus and Cassandra aboard his great ship Salvation and brings them to a secluded and safe shore on the uncharted island which they name Firsthome. It is here that the first parents of a nation bring their baby into a far more kindly world.

And so, God takes advantage of the changes necessitated by babies.

Typically, we find ourselves in a similar boat as Alaedeus and Cassandra, familiar primarily with the trappings of selfishness run toward evil, but suddenly deposited in a new place of thoughts and acts where we care more for our coming children than ourselves. Our babies bring us into our "first home" and a new chapter in our lives begin, hopefully with a bit less thought toward our own desires and far more regard for the needs of those little ones who depend upon us for a safe haven. What most parents will readily reveal is how much joy and opportunity their children provide in exchange for motherly and fatherly devotion to them.

If you ever wonder why a person as powerful as God would bother helping such selfish beings as ourselves, it is good to remember that God is very much our father and his own joy is derived from seeing us grow in safe circumstances. As we turn to God our father in our extremities, the parent that is God extends his hand in answer. The devotion seems to work in both directions: parents to children and children to parents.

What you are about to read is a story of the journey of some descendants of Alaedeus and Cassandra from their own decadence and selfishness toward a happier devotion to God. You will also find that it is a story of God reaching out as a father to his children.

Behaving poorly and breaking with tradition as always, I will joyously interrupt the proceedings on a rather hap-hazard basis to share my own insights into the many happenings along the way, such as now, where I happily reveal that the Alaed nation does make that great change toward altruism and God and that, as is so often the case, it all begins with babies and how they draw out the Godly mother and father in all of us.

Let us begin.

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Copyright, Jason Nemrow. All rights reserved.