Many amazing things can happen in the span of 56 days. Animals such as hamsters, mice, gerbils, and squirrels can get pregnant and have babies. Depending on how many stops you make, you can travel around the world. You can develop a healthy habit or learn to play an instrument. You can even get to the moon and back many times over (provided you have the means to do so!).
But the most incredible thing that can happen in 56 days has to do with human development.
From the time a human being is created when the sperm fertilizes the egg, development begins. And during those first 56 days—the time we call the embryonic period—humans grow at an immense rate.
In this time span, the brain develops; the heart appears and begins to beat; the respiratory system begins to develop; the digestive system forms; eyes become visible; hands, ears, fingers, and toes begin to take shape and show; the immune system begins to function; the baby begins to move; and so much more!
Anyone who has ever experienced a pregnancy or seen a child on an ultrasound knows the miracle of a human being’s creation and growth.
And now, thanks to Brooke Stanton and Christiane West of Contend Projects, young children can experience the wonder and beauty of this time period. In a new book entitled The First 56 Days of You: How Your Human Journey Begins, children (and adults!) can immerse themselves in this fantastic journey as they read scientific facts about the preborn baby and learn the truth—that human beings are created the moment the sperm fertilizes the egg and that a preborn baby is not simply a clump of cells.
Through beautiful illustrations, exciting text, and easy-to-understand facts, The First 56 Days of You teaches children vital information about the first 56 days of life.
We desperately need this truth today. And this truth is one we all have the responsibility to teach—especially to our children.
Why? Because we know that those with a disdain for human life and a disdain for the innocence of children are loudly shouting lies.
Young children are being taught that there are more than two genders. They’re taught that gender is fluid. School faculty are taking them to story hours where books are read by men in drag. Teachers are posting on social media that they find it amusing to confuse children about their gender.
School has become more about indoctrination than education.
It’s a disturbing world out there, and if we want to protect the innocence of our children, teach them truths, and educate them properly, we must actively combat the lies they hear. Books like The First 56 Days of You do this. This is the type of book that should be read at children’s story hours so that children from all walks of life can hear the truth about the preborn baby.
Yet it can be difficult to get quality books read at story hours. We saw recent evidence of this when Christian actor Kirk Cameron attempted to read his latest book to kids at libraries across the country. His book entitled As You Grow is “a faith-based book about the fruit of the Spirit as described in Galatians 5:22-23.” According to the description, the book is about a tree that starts from a seed. Children will read about “how it grows into a massive tree through the trials and triumphs along the way.” As they witness its growth, children “read the words of wisdom that guided this tree, and learn about love, joy, and gentleness.” This hardly seems like a controversial book, yet because of its underlying Christian themes and because it was written by a Christian who is not shy about standing up for his faith, many libraries at first declined his offer to read it.
However, after significant press coverage, Cameron has finally been invited to numerous libraries to read As You Grow. In fact, at the Indianapolis Public Library, he drew a crowd of 2,500 people! According to Cameron’s publisher, this was “the largest crowd the library has seen in 137 years.”
This should not surprise us. People crave the truth. People crave wholesomeness. Yet all too often, people are afraid to stand up. They are afraid to speak for and fight for the truth. But when strong leaders like Cameron, Stanton, and West stand up and lead, that fear often dissipates. And even better, their courageousness becomes contagious.
That’s why we need books like The First 56 Days of You and As You Grow. They teach truths in a loving and unapologetic manner—truths that combat the poison so often fed by society.
St. John Bosco, who taught young men and who understood the importance of a good education based on God’s truths, also understood the insidiousness of poison and how it can seep into our minds when we least expect it. He once said, “Never read books you aren’t sure about . . . even supposing that these bad books are very well written from a literary point of view. Let me ask you this: Would you drink something you knew was poisoned just because it was offered to you in a golden cup?”
Bosco knew that poison can be easily disguised as something good. Think about the apple in the Garden of Eden. This seemingly innocuous piece of fruit was also a weapon of destruction. So it can be with books. So it can be with the wrong teacher.
That’s why it’s vital for anyone who cares about children to feed them the fruit that nourishes their minds and their souls, to cultivate their ability to discern the truth, and to foster their ability to stand up for these truths, even when it’s not easy.
The First 56 Days of You and As You Grow are books we can be sure of. They are books that strengthen rather than weaken. Through them, our children can grow, learn, and spread the truths that will save lives rather than ingest the poison that will kill.
This article first appeared in Catholic 365 at catholic365.com/article/27483/what-did-your-first-65-days-of-life-look-like.html.