Our little girl (now nicknamed Precious by me) is 3 months old already, and just keeps getting cuter by the day. One of the most joyful things in the world is watching her smile and try to talk. I’m teaching her to say “Hi,” and she has done it a few times now. Most of the time it’s just cooing. I could just spend all day gazing into her curious eyes, but there is work to be done.
Bella is sleeping more and fusses less than she did in the beginning. We’re all getting to know one another better, and parenting is becoming more instinctive. Sometimes I look into her big eyes and the realization hits me again – Holy ____ , this is our baby! It’s so bizarre and magical to think that we in effect co-created this little Being. A new life has been born into the world, and I’m staring right at her. Pure wonder and innocence wrapped up in a miniature human body. How amazing is that?
Anyway, the other night she was having a tough time falling asleep, so I was slowly dancing and rocking with her hugged into my chest while humming some ad lib tunes. I’ve done this more times than I can count since she was born, but this time something strange happened. My mind flashed forward to me dancing with her at her wedding reception. In my vision it was like flashing forward to a time when I was having a flash back. In my vision I was dancing with my grown daughter and flooded with the memory of dancing with her as a little baby, which is what I was actually doing at the time. I felt a surge of emotion and started to cry as I continued to hold her and rock her.
I suddenly realized why many parents cry at their children’s wedding. There is an emotional roller coaster akin to sadness upon the recognition that your baby is all grown up now, accompanied by a joy in seeing how they have blossomed. One might also fear that the shared past between parent and child may be forgotten on this new journey and that their bond may be weakened as a result.
I laughed at the fact that I was crying about some future event that may never even happen, but enjoyed the feeling of the insight experienced in that momentary trip to the future, which was made emotional by the past as seen from that future perspective. To be honest, I really haven’t spent much time thinking about what her life will be like when she’s older, I’m just enjoying being present with her now, as she is. To be fully present with her is to be in joy.
Thoughts come and go, bringing any type of emotional response. We really have no control over what we’re going to think next. We do have the ability to let thoughts take us over or ignore them, though it takes presence and alertness to recognize when we are being taken over by our thoughts. In this case, I recognized what my thoughts were doing and allowed them to have their way with me (so to speak), knowing that it was all just a play. I woke up in the dream and allowed myself to keep dreaming because it was a pleasant dream. Tears of joy are very profound, so I chose to let them come.
Oddly enough, when I went to tell my wife what had happened, I got choked up all over again and had to hold back tears and laughter in order to tell her.