|Axel's first picture.|
The minutes after his birth were miraculous. Seriously. It was a miracle of Biblical proportions. Walking on water. Feeding 5,000 hungry people. Turning water into wine. His birth was like seeing something like that before our eyes. I could never even imagine the pure grace, love, and innocence that shined in that room through Axel. Yet there it was. There he was. After 9 months of waiting for him, watching him move his mom's belly, and imagining what he may look like, he was born. We finally got to meet him. Our son, Axel, was in our arms.
Fast forward a few days. Suddenly the comfort of being surrounded by knowledgeable nurses ended. They told us we could go home. Home - as in no longer in the hospital. We were free to take him in our car. And then into our home. It was exciting and terrifying. Who are we to take an infant home with us? Shouldn't there be an internship program first? Or something. Or anything! We didn't go to college to study the care of infants. How could we possibly be qualified to take him home? Well, as it turns out, people have been raising children for a long, long time! There are many ways to be a good parent - and no ways to be a perfect parent. Realizing that helped. Plus, the adage about it "taking a community to raise a child" is totally true. There are many people who are willing to help out. There are grandparents who are glad to field questions. There are nurses who are happy to offer medical advice - and sleeping tips. Thinking about all of this was calming as we filled out the final paperwork and drove home.
Being at home with Axel is wonderful AND exhausting. Cuddle time. Diaper changes. Showing him off to friends and family. Late night feedings. Stories before bed. Crying during bath time. Watching him sleep. Watching ourselves not sleep. And on and on it goes. It's like nothing else - and I wouldn't want it any other way. Even those sleepless moments are gifts of joy. They are opportunities for gratitude and reflection.
Who is this little man? Will he be left handed? Will he like sports, music, or science? What will be his first word? What will he like to do more than anything else (when he's 1, 5, 25, and 55)? Who will fall in love with him? What will make him smile? What will his thoughts on God be? Will he be bullied at school? How much will I be able to protect him throughout life? Will we be the parents he needs and deserves? How can we encourage him to enjoy life as much as possible? When will he say, "I love you."? What will be his favorite book? What will he think when he sees the ocean for the first time? What is he thinking when he looks into our eyes? How did we get so blessed to have him in our family?
Plus, Axel is so freakin' cute it hurts! I know all parents must think that about their children. But it still needs to be said. I could look at him for hours. All of his different facial expressions are as mystical as watching the embers of a fire on a warm summer night. It's pretty cool. I think we could get used to this whole parenting thing!
Well, that's my reflection for today. It may have been different yesterday. And it might be different in the morning. But one thing will never change: we love Axel and his presence in our lives. Now, where is the binky again? And the baby book? And the bath towel? Wow, it's easy to misplace things when you're this tired! Fun times!