My kid, Baby Girl, is a church baby. If you're not familiar with what that is, allow me to explain. A church baby is a kid that,from birth, has been raised and mentored in all things church. And I mean ALL things. He or she in the church children's choir, even if the "gift" of singing isn't theirs. He or she is apart of the children's ministry, even though they never ask to be. He or she is expected to go to children's bible study to learn all the rules that grown folk break. He or she gets dressed in the latest clothes for the latest church holiday. The duty of church baby lastsfar longer than being an infant.Baby Girl is 6 but will always be a part of the church baby alumni.
Church babies do get a stipend. This is normally paid out in candy and one-dollar bills. More so candy, than money. Still, not a bad weekly haul. The people who fund these payments are the elders of the church family, Pastor, Church Mothers, and Church Uncles and Aunts. Ever since she was born, Baby Girl has gotten candy and money from these elders. Except for one person. One Church Mother, small in stature, with big glasses and an even bigger smile. She makes payments in the form of books. Ever since Baby Girl was born, this wise Church Mother regularly, and unassumingly, gives her one or two books every few weeks. From church stories to Dr. Seuss.From classics Church Mother read as a kid, to new storiesfor the new ages. Baby Girl loves the books! She looks forward to the books. And when she gets new books from Church Mother, we absolutely have to read them right away.
I love the books too! Beyond the colorful characters and simple adventures, there is always a wise nugget to learn. A bit if knowledge to be bestowed. Something that when I want Baby Girl to understand life, I can refer to one of the many books we read. Question for you: What books of wisdom and knowledge are you giving people? We all make our way through life collecting books; wisdom and knowledge. Have you shared your books with anyone? Younger members of your organization? Of your group? Of your family?
Passing on wisdom and knowledge should come from wise elders and thought leaders, right? When I sometimes feel I have nothing to offer anyone, I remember this statement that was told to me: “To the third grader, the fifth grader is an expert.”You don’t have to know all the answers to life to enrich some else’s life. Give what you have. You have no idea how much someone would enjoy your story. That seeming ordinary story, that can have an extraordinary impact.
About the Author
NICK BASKERVILLE has had the honor of serving in the United States Air Force for 10 years, followed by 4 years in the United States Air Force Reserves. He attained the rank of Technical Sergeant (E-6). Nick also has 16 years of fire service time, with 13 years of that being in a career department in Northern Virginia. Nick has had the opportunity to hold positions in the Company Officer's section of the Virginia Fire Chief's Association (VFCA), The Virginia Fire Officer's Academy (VFOA) staff, and in the International Association of Black Professional Fire Fighters (IABPFF) as a chapter president, a Health and Wellness committee member, and one of the IABPFF representatives to the Fire Service Occupational Cancer Alliance.