Fifteen days into the new year, we welcomed our second grandson into our family. The day of his birth was a cold day, and the next days would get even colder, temperatures falling well below zero. But this winter baby, all six pounds and one once of him, would be nice and warm inside at home at last with Mom, Dad and big brother.
A new baby brings many changes. Your first baby is a real eye-opener, a high maintenance, noisy addition to the romantic twosome-ness you enjoyed only briefly. Then, a few years later, the second child brings a whole new set of changes. And you thought it would get easier? Well, you do know more now, Mom and Dad. You know which end to diaper, that babies sometimes cry for seemingly no reason at all, that their peaceful sleeping faces are as a close to an angel’s as you can get on earth. You’d think you knew it all.
But along comes that second child and rules change, again. This time, baby arrives to a not-so-quiet house. There is no tip-toeing around for this baby, for Number One Son has the floor and it is loud. There are cartoons to watch, a drum set to pound, toy trucks to roar across the floor, and funny storybooks to laugh at. There are places to go, like preschool and the store and “outside” if the weather is nice. Amidst all this, new baby is left to catch some sleep whenever and wherever he can. He’s joined an already in progress household. He has to go with the flow, and he’ll master it in time.
I was happy and privileged to be able to spend several days with Abraham while his Mom and Dad were at the hospital. It was a special time playing with him, reading and talking and painting “welcome home” pictures, all the while anticipating the moment when EVERYONE would be home.
Friday afternoon, at long last, the sound of familiar voices on the stairs preceded the opening of the door and there they were. Mom looking straight at Abraham, his arms waving excitedly and a big smile on his face. On Mom’s arm, a blanket-covered baby carrier. Right behind them, Dad with a big smile too. Pulling off their shoes, Mom and Dad stepped inside inside the living room and Mom gently pulled the blanket aside to reveal, fast asleep, little baby Francis, all of two days old. He was beautiful, in his own distinctive way, his fuzzy hair a little darker, weighing about five ounces more than Abraham when he was born on a hot summer day more than three years ago. Abraham took a good look—so this is what all the fuss is about—but his eyes continued to follow Mom, making sure she was home to stay now.
In the future, Francis’ parents will tell him how very cold it was when he was born, how the wind and snow and cold kept them all inside and close, how his big brother was so excited to see him, and how small miracles really do make a world of difference.