Welcome to the world, my daughter

As I write this, my daughter is asleep in the other room.

And as I write them, the words feel so deliciously surreal.

She was born this past week  in the wee hours of the morning as the snow came down.  I was so looking forward to the surprise of whether she’d come out a boy or a girl.  We’d waited so patiently for her, through days and days of painful prelabor, during which we’d walked in endless circles around our apartment complex, through the snow, and waded through sleepless nights.  But I’ll always remember how when they finally held her up for me to see, it never even occurred to me to think whether she was a boy or a girl.

She was a gift.  She was my child.  She is our joy.

As the three of us settle into our new life of feedings, changings, and lots of sleeping (for her not necessarily, us!), I’m so touched by husband’s strong desire to be with his daughter during every waking and sleeping moment.  As I banged out some last minute work on my dissertation this weekend and he held her, it occurred to me that his requests for me to put her in his arms signal his willingness to adjust his life to her, while I had been merely trying to fit her into my already existing one.

With all the parenting buzz and blogs (and no, this isn’t about to become another one of them, don’t worry!), not to mention our time in China, we’re acutely aware of the missteps one can take by making their child the center of the universe.  But there is a shift in the orbit it seems.  And that’s not a bad thing.  Perhaps, and at best, I think, we’re all adjusting to one another, learning to yield and depend and be graceful with one another, and it’s making us stronger and better along the way.  We’re stumbling a bit in the newness of it all, but I want to welcome my daughter into new life, not just my life, but a shared, God-given, grace-filled one.

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Welcome to the world, Lucia Jayne.  Your name means light, and suddenly everything feels new.  The cliche is true: things will never be the same again.

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