Each child is unique. I guess the first thing new parents do is thank God for this living, breathing, teeny tiny beautiful creature. Then, they count the fingers and toes, and make sure everything is in the right place. Daddy passes out cigars, calls everyone he ever knew to tell them the good news, and Mommy falls asleep --
exhausted, relieved, and smiling.
I remember how I felt before my daughter was born. I was so scared! I was nervous about the delivery process itself. Would my child be 'normal'? Would I be a good mother? Would we be willing to allow this child to develop to its full potential? Would my child be happy? Would we be able to keep our child away from harm -- to 'insulate' the child from the world, as it were, keeping away every bad or hurtful thing?
I thought I wanted a boy, a miniature of my husband. He would have been called Mark Paul, names of two of my favorite students. My husband was a "II", and he wasn't all that interested in having one of his children saddled with the "III". If the child were to be a girl, we wanted to name her after my mother -- and there, we had a problem.
My mother had always threatened to 'disown me' if I named a child after her (she hated her name!), but we wanted to do so, and diligently searched through the books of baby's names looking for variations of the spelling that we thought Mom might find acceptable. Finding none listed that we liked, we made up our own, decided that would be our daughter's middle name, and then searched some more for a first name -- found one, finally!
In the delivery room, when the doctor told me that it was a girl, I said, "I'm so glad!" (Ha! And double 'Ha!' All I had ever wanted, really, was a healthy baby!)
The first few months were somewhat sleepless, as I'm sure all of you who have ever been around newborn babies can relate to. She was a 'colicky' baby, which we knew nothing about. The doctor assured us that it would be only a temporary condition. He was right, of course, but we were 'brand new' to this, and thought, "We must be doing something wrong!"
I just couldn't get enough of looking at her, touching her, feeling her softness, nuzzling her tummy, and being in awe at her every move.
In her very early years, my husband wrote a poem inspired by her, titled "Then and When". It goes:
Come small seed. Feel God's awakening shower
Grow our need. Swell, burst and root and flower Warm moist earth
Blow soft wind. A pliant stem be gentle
Bend each limb. Love, forces elemental
Soft open leaves
Thrust great light. Thru forest arms protecting
Buds wet-bright. Send spectrum sparkle glistening
Cool green dawn