So, today, I went through all the newborn clothes that I had used for Melanie. All the little t-shirts, the gowns, the swaddling blankets, the tiny dresses and diaper covers. I sighed and remembered as I folded each one, dividing the bounty between two bags. One bag goes to my sister in law, Heidi (regular commenter here =)., who is about to have her 12th baby. The other goes to a friend at church, who just had her first daughter. Admittedly, I reserved a few pieces just too precious to pass on, but I was strict with myself, because I have no need to save all these baby girl clothes. Even if I need them again, I can get them back or get more. There is never a shortage of cute baby girl newborn clothes!
Melanie was sitting on the floor by me, playing with some toys, clapping, cooing, babbling. I enjoyed telling her about her newborn days, and realized with a great deal of satisfaction that my pregnancy with her, her birth and newborn days were truly some of the most glorious of my life. I treasure all the memories of my babies, of course, but there was something truly different about her birth, and I think it was my appreciation of the miracle and gift that new life is. You would think that would have happened before, but I wasn't as receptive to the notion of "gift" as I am now. Life has a way of doing that, doesn't it?
Now that she is the ripe old age of 7 months, I do feel some of the "magical" quality of the past year fading away. The appreciation I have for the gift of Melanie isn't slipping away, just the crystalline, extraordinary sense of unexpected joy. She is settling in to the comfortable joy of the entirety of my life now, and her smoothing in is a good thing. But my, oh my, do I treasure those early days.