Even before I met you, I knew I wanted to hold you. But when the time came, and your father handed you to me, and you wriggled and squawked and kicked against my chest as I tried to cradle you, I was terrified. It was a horrifying minute or two, though it felt like hours, before you settled down, your father leaning over you and crooning and showing me how to hold in your soother.
Then there came the beautiful few quiet moments, when you laid in my arms and stared into my eyes. I didn't know that three-week old babies could focus their gazes like that, but you did. I marveled at your eyes, dark blue, like your mama's; your little upturned nose; your beautiful lips, so easily quirked in infant rage or grief; your tiny hands, so warm and so strong; your little feet, bare just like your mama's and daddy's; the barely-there weight of you against my chest and in my arms.
You brought me to tears, but there were photos being taken by all, so I held back the tears and let them fall within my heart.
I remembered, as I held you, your daddy's presence in my life—how he held me when I was tiny, too; how he played with me when I was a little girl; how he teased and laughed with me when I was an awkward teenager; how he befriended me when I was just-eighteen, but thought I was so grown-up; how he was always, always kind and gentle, and treated me like the woman I so badly wanted to be.
Holding you, his firstborn, made me thankful all over again—for his friendship, for your mama who loves and respects him so much, for the chance to be part of your life as he was part of mine. It's beautiful, really, how cradling you in my arms was such a completion of the past, such a perfect moment to live, and such a mind-blowing promise of the future.
But then, I suppose that's exactly what God means babies to be . . .