You would think that with nine grandchildren between us – six of whom were born in the last five years, Charles and I would take it all in stride when a new baby is added to the mix. Not so. The miraculous event of birth is an authentic miracle in and of itself, but on a personal level, the realization that this new life that did not exist a few months ago is now sporting ten fingers and ten toes and is a living, breathing personality with some sort of genetic connection to their grandparents – well, it just doesn’t ever get routine. I can barely wrap my mind around it.
There is really no life experience that even comes close to holding your own baby seconds after birth, but I will have to say that holding your grandchild who is a very few hours past drawing her first breath is a pretty close second.
The arrival of Marilyn Wilton Bailey (“Mari Wilton”) last Thursday brought our combined tribe to ten little people ages newborn to eight years. When we were finally able to enter the room where my daughter, son-in-law, and their new daughter were receiving their first visitors, I took one look at that tiny pink bundle tucked between layers of “swaddling clothes,” and I knew my heart was never going to be the same.
We really have not built the first memory together. She hasn’t learned to walk or talk or call me “MaeMae” like the other grandchildren. I haven’t read her a story or watched her eyes sparkle with some amazing first time discovery of something like ice cream. But I love this little girl as though she has always been here. Isn’t that the most wonderful thing about love?
The fact that I love all the others doesn’t mean that the love space inside of my heart was too full to make room for one more…nor would it be so full that it can’t embrace the next one, or the next one. There is no ceiling on love, is there? That concept makes it so real to me why the number one attribute that God claims as His is love.
The more we love, the more we are free to love…and all the more deeply. It’s really true. Mari Wilton’s life verse is James 1:17. “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” Thanks be to God.