Sunday, May 15, 2011


Holding my first grandchild Olivia for the first time yesterday was one of the most awe-inspiring experiences ever. It has been more than 16 years since my youngest daughter was born so it's been a while since I've had a newborn in the immediate family, but it feels a lot different this time. I think it is the passage of those years and all the experiences in between that cause that feeling; after two decades of raising three daughters I feel much more insightful now about what it means to have a new baby in my life.

The big thing that impresses me the most about this new life is the total blank slate she is born with. Here is a baby that has every opportunity open to her in the world; there have been no doors closed or bridges burned in her life. There is an absolute purity to Olivia -- she has never done anything wrong nor caused anyone any pain (OK --maybe her mom Amanda might argue that one).

What do babies dream about? We watch her sleeping and know something is going on in there because of her facial expressions -- both happy and sad, and some downright disgusted -- but what is she thinking about?

I have never seen a baby so alert at not even a day old. I have her on video checking out her surroundings, when she actually turns to look when the doctor enters the room. What kind of a shock must that be after some nine months in a womb to be able to look around and hear unmuffled sounds?

--check back for more to come --

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