Power, pain, and joy
I hope you all had a Thankful holiday weekend. I know I did.
We had a large gathering at our home ~ some 60+ people, followed by my brother and sister-in-law with their 8 children staying until Saturday night.
We all had so much fun together, and insisted that this should not only happen on holidays. Let's do it again in January, okay??
On Thanksgiving day, a couple that are friends of ours, as well as fellow Romanian Catholics, gave birth to their first son. I got the supreme pleasure of meeting this little boy on Saturday night, and what a rush of memories. His sweet mama was reeling from the powerful and joyous birth experience, and quite surprised by the intensity of the emotions she was feeling. Again, what memories. Besides the tremendous hormonal shift that leads to the tenderness of emotions, there is the pure power of looking into your baby's eyes for the first time. And with your first baby, it is the very first time to gaze straight into eternity. Immortality and it's sister, love, are never realized with such immediacy as that first meeting.
Suddenly, every child is your child. Every mother's worry and grief are your worry and grief. Suddenly, every evil is more terrifying, and every remedy more urgent. In an instant, the future matters more than ever, and your ability to defend a life just increased to infinity. The eternal is opened up for just a quick glimpse, but the effect remains, and shakes you to the core, and the ache never goes away.
And then you begin the "regular" stuff. The diapers, the nursing, the clothing, the cleaning, and all the other tasks that signify a baby now lives here. You get distracted by the cuteness, the fatigue, the insecurity and the constant demands of a baby. But underneath it all is the ache of that deep, but brief, glimpse of eternity.
And somehow, it is expected that you be back to "normal" in six weeks, and you are supposed to carry on as if everything is just the same as it was, only now you have a baby. This is absurd, in my experience. The new mother is a different person, and has to get reacquainted with herself. With each birth, two people are born, the baby and a new mother. And then a new world unfolds for them, and what a grand adventure it is!!
So welcome to our world, little Ambrose Levi, and may the Good Lord be your constant companion and guide through this life, and your eternal joy in the next. Best wishes to the new family, and may God grant them many years in peace, health and happiness!
(photo credit: this photo is of my Godson and nephew, taken by his mother)