Many years ago, I had a discussion with my father about whether a baby is a miracle or not. He maintained that they were not because miracles were rare and babies are born every day. I argued that an infant is a miracle because of all the things that have to happen just right for an embryo to become such an amazing creation. From just a single tiny egg and an even tinier sperm, comes this intricate miniature human being. Their senses are all functioning even if they haven’t learned how to process what they see and hear – they do know what Mommy smells like and they know her heartbeat. And did you know that a fetus even has their own distinct fingerprints well before they are born? How can anyone not consider that a miracle?
Even if that tiny perfect human being doesn’t seem like a miracle, just think about the potential. Consider the mind-boggling number of things this little person will learn in just one year – how to smile, to laugh, the sound of their father’s voice or a sister’s giggles. How to put things in their mouth, how to crawl and even perhaps to walk. How to say Mama and Dada and sometimes how to sign what they can’t yet say. They’ll discover what marvelous things their own hands are and how to explore their world with every sense they have. In the words of my granddaughter, their world expands from ‘sleeping, eating and pooping’ to that of a little person on a mission, bustling about his world learning what he likes and dislikes, what sunshine feels like and rain, grass under his feet and snowflakes on his nose. How to hold a crayon and a fork and open supposedly childproof containers. And that’s just the first year. From there he or she can grow up to be anything: a waitress, a soldier, a doctor, a teacher, a lawyer, a scientist or a poet or even a leader of nations.
But despite the outcome of the debate between my dad and me, or the wider world either, I know I have another new miracle in my family. Nicholas Philip, all nine pounds two ounces of him arrived on time and healthy. He’s grandbaby number fifteen for me. And every time, in spite of having had four children of my own, I am amazed all over again at how tiny and perfect a newborn is. I marvel at those tiny fingers and toes, the big adorable eyes, the little bowed mouths. I love the little sounds they make when they sleep and I especially love they way they smell.
Every one of my babies and grandbabies have created memories that are special and different, but one thing that never changes is how wonderful it is to cuddle a sleeping baby against your chest. Even in the middle of the night, or perhaps especially in the middle of the night when all the world is sleeping and the soft cover of darkness surrounds you, curled up in a rocking chair with a sleeping infant cuddled against your shoulder is one of the sweetest things in the world. I love those moments and cherish them.
So, welcome to the world Baby Nicholas. You are a special miracle and I love you.