“Babies are God’s opinion that the world should go on” -Carl Sandburg
I was inspired to write about these 3 new people and all their wriggling splendor in mid-November when they were born-but the words, the feelings, the timing it just wasn’t geling like it should. Today however; as we mourn the loss of 20 little souls, 20 of the world’s possibilities, sigh with relief and chuckle over the Mayan calendars end of days and prepare to celebrate the greatest baby ever born, our Beacon of Hope, it feels right. World, welcome our newest members and possibilities: JD, Danny and Sheila.
Babies are a gift. The tiny fingers, gas induced grins, cuddles, coos and squishy little cheeks that induce Elmyra (does anyone remember her?) like squeals of “I’m gonna hug you and kiss you and love you forever and never use you up” all give us an opportunity to love indescribably someone who has never done a thing for us. They’re also a lot of work. They scream, they cry for no visible reason, they leak out of both ends, and are hungry all the time. They keep us from sleeping, showering and take us out of the game for a few months as we wander around in a fog covered with unknown crusted goo. Things don’t get much better either. I’d say Brenna and Stevie take more of me now than they did as newborns (and if they’re leaking now it is 3 fold much grosser). Often the gift of children is in the struggle. Though the world paints a much different picture; life is not all about seeking our own immediate pleasures and constant peace at all times. Children require us to humble ourselves and care for them, feed them, clean them, listen to them. We give these tiny little dictators command over our desires. “Whatever you did unto the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me”. I’m given the chance to “do” all day long.
These three new people represent hope to me. Little JD is hope for his grandmother as she struggles to deal with the loss of her mother. While reflecting on her own mother’s life she is watching her daughter become one. What an interesting, though difficult place to be in life. His little grin will call her out of sadness, his tiny fingers wrapped around hers will remind her to hold on, calming him in discomfort will bring her calm, and at times they can just cry together.
Wee Sheila has an amazing story. She was adopted quite unexpectedly, her parents were preparing for Thanksgiving not a baby when they got the call three days before the holiday. While other couples spend months and years planning, deciding, debating the whens, whys, what ifs and how manys of the people in their family they decided on a moments notice to say “Yes!”. With 4-year-old Seth, and 2-year-old Claire they opened their arms and hearts to her. I’m sure it’s a mad house there right now but they have the blessing of a vision beyond the everyday struggles of parenting. Each member of that family gives me hope that there are people in the world still willing to say “yes” and how blessed the lives are that receive that “yes”.
Danny’s story may seem ordinary in comparison but to those that know his father, it gives hope to all ugly, awkward men the world over. There is someone out there for you too. His is a story of joy. His parents aren’t just excited to have a new baby with all the cuddly, fuzzy, take a million pictures joy of parenthood. They are genuinely psyched to be parents. Each happy for the other to take on this awesome role. What better way to start a family unit than each member reveling in the joy of it for the other. Little Danny will also have the great joy of growing up in one of the most incredible extended families. His aunts, uncles and grandmother are some of the most interesting, intelligent, kind, and creative people I know.
These little bundles of joy make me yearn for more kids. Not just for the cuddles, the nuzzles, the coos and the achingly cute tiny clothes; but because I am a creator. We are made in His image, so it’s in us to want to create, invent, foster and cultivate. I want the responsibility of that possibility, that blank canvas that is mine to paint and embellish into something not only me or my husband but the world can be proud of. Let’s take care of these little people fellow members of earth.