Marketta Gregory: What I want for my son

Marketta Gregory

When I gave birth a little more than a year ago to my third son, I wasn't as afraid of the hospital stay, of figuring out the complicated car seat, of finding the right bumper for the crib. I was more concerned about the intangible things I want for this son of mine.

I know it’s popular to wish for happiness – for a life free of bumps and bruises – but I don’t see that as practical or even helpful. Each generation has had its own challenges and its own evils. (Remember: The good ol’ days include slavery, the Holocaust and terrorist attacks that have killed thousands.)

My son’s generation will not be exempt from hardships either. And as much as I’d like to protect him, I’ll serve him better by preparing him.

We’re starting by giving him the first name Colt, which to me means strength and freedom. May he always have the courage to do the right thing, to look for God in every situation and to run to his side. May he always understand that freedom is a human right that comes from our creator, not government – and may he be willing to stand for those rights, for himself and for others.

His middle name is Alexander, a name he shares with his oldest brother. This year we’ll celebrate four years of having that older brother live with us, an older brother who went through a tough time with his biological family and spent almost four years in foster care – an older brother who despite life’s knocks has chosen compassion and progress. We could think of nothing better than those traits to have at the heart of a name.

May his middle name also serve as a reminder that true family is a choice, one we make every day in how we treat one another. May Colt never take family for granted and may he always feel loved and cherished.

May he find not only fleeting happiness but the deep joy that comes from finding a purpose in life, a life well spent in service to God and others. May he live up to – and beyond – his name.

Marketta Gregory is a former religion reporter who now shares her own journey of faith with readers. She lives in Rochester, N.Y., with her husband, their three young boys and one very vocal Pomeranian. To contact Gregory, email markettagregory@yahoo.com or write to her at P.O. Box 12923, Rochester, NY 14612. You can also visit the Simply Faithful page on Facebook and follow her on Twitter (@MarkettaGregory).