A newborn can make you see your family with new eyes.
I see the way my son looks at her and strokes her head when she’s crying. He makes that small sideways smile and squint. He gives the tiniest of nods because he knows I’m watching him, and he knows I’m pleased, and he’s proud of himself for caring for her. “I like our new sister,” he says.
I see my eldest daughter’s adoration for the baby. “Hold her!” she cries, arms opened to receive the squishy little bundle. She slathers noisy smooches on her little sister, and clings when it’s time to give her back. She bolts to get a diaper for the baby, and asks to “helpie” at every opportunity.
My husband? He choked up when baby I was born. She makes him light up after a difficult day like nothing else. He holds her gently, and gets that smile that makes crinkly wrinkles at the corners of his eyes He talks to her and sings to her. He spends time playing with the older two and carries them in tired little heaps up to bed. And after a full day of caring for his family and healing wife, he still puts his arms around my floppy, soft middle, and kisses my forehead. He gives us so much love.
I look at sweet baby I, and I remember how very fast it all goes. She’s two weeks old as I write this. Can that be? Didn’t I just have her last night? Were my other children ever this small? She’s not going to grow up too, is she?
The busy daytime hours and exhausting nights gather up into days and weeks and months and years, and the kids are ever growing and ever changing. My husband and I ride the ups and downs together- sometimes easily, sometimes not- but always together. These children have made us very different people than we were five years ago.
My baby carries with her enormous power. Children lavish unsolicited love on her. Adults weep over her. She brings transparency to our faults, and strength for us to try to change them. She gives us perspective and helps us to value the more important things in life. She teaches me to fall in love with my family all over again.
These kids. They don’t necessarily get easier. But they are good, in more ways than I can properly express.