As the Family Goes

JP II Quote

"As the family goes, so goes the nation, and so goes the whole world in which we live." John Paul II

Monday, August 17, 2015

How God Loves

My youngest son is two months old now. His newborn phase was rough, and while I won't classify it as colicky because I know mothers and babies who've struggled with that and it was a million times more difficult, it nevertheless contained much more fussiness and irritability than we've seen with any of our last few babies. So now that he's turned a corner and become old enough to work out the kinks in his little digestive system that were giving him such grief, he's a pretty happy little guy.  He especially loves his older brothers, and I told my husband the other day that I'd be jealous that he smiles at them more than he smiles at me except that it's pretty much the sweetest thing I've ever seen.  I'm glad that he loves them so much, and it's so beautiful to see the way he lights up for them.

Babies change a family in so many ways, but they have a particular and special impact on their oldest siblings I think.  They know who loves them best, and when someone has put time and effort into caring for a baby (the way older siblings can) the baby naturally develops a special attachment.  My son lights up at the sight of an older brother because he's learned, "that's the person who picks me up when I cry."  And my older kids just melt with delight when they can coax a smile out of him after his parents' unsuccessful attempts.  I watch my oldest boys and burst with pride, because I know they'll grow up knowing how to handle a baby.  And I've often heard from parents of teenagers that babies help soften the angst of those years, because they bring out a softer, gentler side for everyone in the family.

I thought about that this afternoon as I bounced my fussy baby in the laundry room, hoping to get a load of laundry into the dryer before feeding time.  As my nine-year-old rounded the corner my infant exploded into a smile, and the older child gravitated to him in full appreciation of the gesture.  He spent several minutes talking to him while the baby cooed and giggled, and I said to him, "if you ever doubt how special you are, remember this moment." 

Babies I think, because they have not yet been touched by the sin of the world, love with a more pure form of love that is closer to the way God loves us.  They don't hold anything back, and when a baby explodes with that kind of love I think it puts us in touch God.  Because He bursts with love for us too.  And if we only would stop for a moment to look at His face, we would find there that explosion of joy that makes it impossible to look away.  It draws us in, loving us more and more, filling us with delight until we ourselves can no longer contain it.  A baby's love has a particular way of directing us to God and in that way I suppose, they are the first missionaries of the family.  And we, mothers, fathers and siblings, are the first caretakers entrusted with these beautiful souls. In many ways for me, a spiritual lifeline to The Lord. I pray that I never take that for granted.

Sweet David Francis you are a vehicle of God's tenderness to us.  I pray that as you grow, we will help you to know The Lord as much as you have helped us to.

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