Sometimes we get so caught up in the details of living that we forget what life is all about. Then comes along what social scientists call, a life cycle event, and you have the opportunity to remember. That’s where we are right now—in the most positive way possible. Our daughter just had a baby girl and we are reveling, not only in the baby, but in the miracle of birth. It is a time that finds us in awe of creation.
Joeli was born in the morning on New Year’s Day. She is exactly one-week-old as I write this. I am in Seattle helping out Joeli’s mom, dad and big brother and I wouldn’t give up these days for a trip to Bhutan (a place I’d love to visit, but probably will never get to J.) I can sit holding her for an hour, just watching her. I don’t need the television on, the Internet running or the phone at my ear. I am just immersing myself in the moment—I am so aware that life doesn’t get any better than this.
I’m not talking perfect here—sleep deprivation, poopy diapers, breast feeding challenges for my daughter, getting my grandson off to school early in the morning and other issues—these are all part of the package. But with all of it, in the foreground is the awareness of how special this time is. For this whole week, it is as if our world has stopped spinning, and we are in the cocoon of new birth.
“Look at her stretching,” my daughter will say. “Four days ago she was doing that inside of me!”
Yes, exactly, I will think. Sometimes when I’m holding Joeli against my heart and she kicks her tiny feet, it flashes me back to when I carried my own kids deep inside of my body.
This has been a time that has brought us all back to the basics—to all that is good in our nature. There is a simplicity to our days that has stopped the chatterbox in my head that insists on planning, listing and achieving. I know, even as I in-put this and prepare it for my blog, I am already leaving that place. I want to resist, but have to be realistic.
Maybe it’s because I am older that I have been able to stop and enjoy this time. When my other grandchildren were born, I was still working, still had parents who needed care, still in a frenzy to get it all in. As an older grandparent, the impatience of middle age is behind me and I have been able to step off the merry-go-round of my normal life.
Maybe it’s Joeli, herself. Whatever, it has been wonderful.