Her body shakes with excitement when she sees me. It is way too early in the morning to reciprocate. I will myself to keep moving to her side. It is a beautifully choreographed dance we share. I reach over the side of her crib, under her arms, gently swinging her to the place by my heart. She puts her thumb in her mouth and her other hand finds its way to the familiar spot at the back of my neck. Her fingers wrap around my hair and she snuggles close.
Safe. Protected. Loved.
We make our way downstairs in the quietness of the morning, the only sounds are the squeaking of the stairs and the snow plow outside. Our eyes are captivated for a moment by the lights flashing across snow, the snow balls forming on their own creating an avalanche as the snow is piled higher and higher. We watch in wonder. It is mesmerizing.
Awestruck. Captivated. Loved.
In the dark before the sunrise, we find our way to Daddy’s chair. We sink into its comfort and I grab a blanket, covering the two of us in warmth. She continues to suck her thumb, this time rubbing my cheek and staring into my eyes. I breathe her in, a strange mix of sweet baby smell and diaper cream waking my senses. She is pure loveliness and I am amazed by her.
Precious. Desired. Loved.
I know the moment when the thumb no longer satisfies. She twists in my arms, whimpering, pulling at me. For nine months, we have been sharing this rhythm as natural to us as breathing. She latches on, her eyes crinkling, her fingers relaxing. Sustenance, nourishment, life passes from me to her. It is a gift that I have been privileged to give and in this moment, I am overcome by the inevitable ending. This precious time with my girl is almost over and my heart is breaking as I relinquish and accept and let go.
Satisfied. Gratified. Loved.
I find myself overwhelmed by love, completely undone by the undeserved gift of my baby girl. The unexpected fourth child continues to surprise and delight. I am exhausted and worn down yet filled to overflowing with wonder and beauty. Through this child, I am beginning to get a glimpse of lavished love, to comprehend what it means when God says, I delight in you with gladness, I will calm all your fears, I will rejoice over you with joyful songs (from Zephaniah 3:17).
Overwhelmed. Lavished. Loved.
See what great love the Father has lavished on us,
that we should be called children of God!
1 John 3:1
Linking today with the beautiful Kirsten Oliphant as she challenges bloggers to write, to create with our words. The prompt for this week is “love”.