Okay, I think my pregnancy inventory is officially complete. I couldn't help myself, today I headed to one of my favorite baby stores, and got the following: a baby monitor, a bottle warmer and some disposable nursing pads. There were also a few freebies that were offered with a couple of the items, so it was worth it for me to get. The purchases were easy enough to justify: I can use these same items when we have more children! (In a few years, I think I'll be once again hearing the phrase, "Pass the baby! Pass the baby!")
It's funny, but many years ago when my mother was taking care of me and my brother as babies, she didn't have many of the material trappings that I now have sitting in another room: the mountain of disposable diapers (she's a believer in cloth, while I like the convenience of throwing the poop away... far, far away), the bottle sterilizer, the newborn set, the diaper disposal system, etc., etc. But what she did possess was an incredible love for us, and she made do with whatever was available to her. There wasn't the disposal system, or the bottle sterilizer, or the diapers that have Sesame Street characters on the waist bands. But we turned out okay. I have a feeling our baby will turn out good, too.
At the end of the day, what will matter will be the lessons we impart on our children... how we influence them, shape and mold them, and teach them to be good, God-fearing, generous and kind people. It is those moral values that can't be taught by any of these really cool baby gadgets... at the end of the day, as in every generation before ours, it's the parents that bear the responsibility of raising their children.
Many years from now, further improvements will be made to the stock of baby technology that currently exists, but one thing will remain constant: how our kids turn out will be up to us, and we don't get a second chance with each child. We get one shot, better make it good.