Monday, December 19, 2011

Tiny Miracles

Sitting on the sofa this morning (with a new book of Latin answers, a tiny miracle in itself), I was watching the light dusting of snow across the neighborhood like powdered sugar finishing off a holiday cake, holding the baby, and thinking as I was tempted to turn away from the snow to the Latin—I hope I never get used to this. I hope I never shrug & say—"Meh, it's just an inch." I hope the snow always dazzles me like it does now. I love anything that has the power to make me stand still and watch.

And I looked down at my new baby, who is six weeks old today and remembered how many times I've thought the same thing about him. Smelling his baby-smell is like cramming for a test, trying to memorize every detail because I know they're all so fleeting. (He's already wearing size 3-6mos.) I look at my bigger kids, and the scarce fragments of memory that are left of their newborn days serve as a grim reminder of how frail this human memory is, & I work against its finitude all the harder.

That's when I began counting. How many snowfalls have I seen since we've been here? How many days have I held this baby, followed him down the halls of NICU, carried him up the stairs at home, changed diapers—and really—we don't experience babies in days but in hours, neckaches, sniffs of babiness. And I wondered—is he too old yet for me to calculate his age in hours?

Six weeks times seven days times 24 hours. He won't be completely six weeks old until this evening. And sure enough, as I sat there sniffing his head and calculating, he turned 1001 hours old in my arms. It's enough time to fall in love. It's time to learn the quiet song of baby breath and snorting. It's enough time to outgrow clothes and diapers, to learn cries and smiles and coos. 1000 hours is time enough to change your life forever and be glad it's been changed, but I hope for thousands more, and like the snow, I pray that I'll never acclimate, never shrug off a moment of this miracle because of the generosity of the Giver of Moments, whose hand holds out such precious blessings.

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