The tiny boy in my hands is a perfectly proportionate finely-featured human being in miniature. His eyes are shifting from newborn gray to paternal blue. His hair is growing from newborn black to maternal chestnut: lots of it, and curly. And I am holding him, baby Henry, the child of my child. In January. Holding him feels natural—I know the moving parts and the comforting positions, and where he needs support. At three weeks old, he looked into my eyes—he really did—and gazed at me for a good long time—he really did—and a not-gas-bubble smile began to play in the corner of his moving mouth on one side while he gazed—it really did. Somehow the world seems good and whole when holding a newborn. The problems melt away, and love flows. And I speak in gibberish the infant can understand because the sounds come from a smiling face and a lilting voice and dancing eyes, and those little ears take in the sounds and smiles and glints of light and love. Until three weeks ago I had one grandchild, the source of my greatest joy. Now Henry is here, and the stable of my heart has grown to make ample room for him in the manger, and will make more room in April, and more in October, and yet more….
(Above: Henry on a quilt sewn by his aunt Laura.)
Henry on a blanket crocheted by his great-aunt Carolyn.
Henry with his wonderful parents John and Alleigh.