This year TM and D. were due for their Bibles. This has been a source of great excitement for several months now... and for some, anything that is exciting also causes a significant amount of stress, but I digress. This excitement was in part due to having four older brother and sisters who already had their own Bibles. TM and D. have been wanting their own Bibles for a while now, especially since they can both read. J. and I certainly could have bought them a Bible earlier this year, but we waited for the church presentation Bible.
There are a few reasons we did this. The first being that delayed gratification is a good skill to practice. We live in an instant society where we rarely have to wait for anything. An inability to wait for some thing one wants contributes to all sorts of social ills, being captive to huge amounts of debt being one of them. It is good to practice waiting. Also, by waiting and anticipating something, it makes actually receiving the desired object that much sweeter. And especially with a Bible, this is a feeling we want to inculcate. Lastly, for our family, receiving a Bible is one of the markers of childhood; a marker that shows a child they are growing up.
Our society does a pretty poor job of creating markers to show a child they are maturing. The biggest one is hitting the age of 16 and being able to obtain a driver's license. But children need more than that and they need some ceremony to go along with those markers. Instead of making children wait and anticipate things they are finally old enough to do, we tend to push our children ahead.
There are all sorts of ways we can create markers of maturity for our children. It can be as small as having a child wait until they are 13 to get her ears pierced and use that as one of the markers of young adulthood or it can be bigger... a family ceremony acknowledging an adult level of responsibility in a child about to go off on their own.
Anyway all this to say, getting a Bible is a pretty big deal around here... as receiving The Book which contains the words of life should be.