I was lucky enough to cradle a tiny newborn in my arms yesterday. She was just 5 days old and I felt my heart fill with love as my eyes began to brim with tears. I breathed in that special newborn smell and closed my eyes. What a wonder they are!
I LOVE babies! All babies. It doesn’t matter who they belong to or what they look like or if their nappy needs changing – I’m your girl! This love affair began many years ago at church. Where friends entrusted their precious bundles of joy to my 10-year-old arms. I learned to rock and soothe and cuddle and feed and change them. But mostly, the thing I loved doing was looking and feeling them.
Making eye contact with a baby, for me, is like making eye contact with your lover – the first time! Fireworks go off inside my heart and I feel as if I am in completely the right place at the right time.
So yesterday, when I held gorgeous Ella for the first time, I did what I always do when holding a newborn for the first time. I looked deep into her eyes and using no words at all, said with my heart “Thank you! Thank you for trusting me to hold you and love you and for relying on me for all you need at this moment. Thank you!”
Later, when remembering my Ella cuddle, I thought about why I love the real newborns so much. I thought about how they are completely reliant on me for everything. Never again will this happen in its entireity. I thought about the physical things I love about newborns – their soft, hairy, velvety skin; their wrinkles; their round little bellies; the way they inhabit their skin so completely; their ability to fart at the drop of a hat and the satisfaction they get from doing it! Ella’s Grandma mentioned yesterday, how they arrive, knowing how to do stuff. No one teaches them to sneeze – they just know!
As I thought about my visit, it dawned on me that all the things I love about babies are indeed a lot of the things I don’t like about myself …. my hairy skin; my wrinkles; my round belly; the way I inhabit my skin a little too completely and of course my ability to fart at the drop of a hat!! I, also, realised that I have to completely rely on and trust myself for all I need at any given moment.
The similarity was amazing to me! Maybe it is time for me to embrace those special baby-like qualities about myself and stop fighting against them?
Thank you baby Ella for teaching me an important life lesson!