There are moments in life that are so incredible, so special, and so momentous that you just might miss them. Not all of life's greatest moments come with fireworks; sometimes they come with a whisper and if you're not paying attention you just might miss them.
Two of our very best friends welcomed their first child into the world on Monday. Little Charlie has joined a large extended family of "aunts" and "uncles" who will adore him and teach him how to be a first class geek, artist, and friend. We went to visit the new little family late in the afternoon on Tuesday. It was a blustery day, wind and snow whipping all around, but in the glow of that little hospital room all I felt was warm. The room was only a couple of doors down from where I spent my first couple of nights with Jack and Trevor. The view of the snowy parking ramp outside brought back memories of a snowy, blustery day two years ago.
"Go see Aunt Nancy", my amazing friend, the new mama, said as she handed over a little bundle of strawberry blonde hair and deep blue eyes to me. My heart burst into a thousand happy pieces at this first introduction to my new nephew. Holding a newborn baby is quite possibly one of the greatest joys any of us can experience. Any problem you faced that day, any obstacle or hurdle instantly vanishes when you touch that brand new skin. Somehow all of that hope and promise that a new baby brings is transferred to you and for a few brief moments you feel like anything is possible.
Trevor took his turn with Charlie and remarked to me today how he noticed that he automatically fell into the baby sway with him, gently rocking him to and fro setting into a pose long abandoned in favor of lugging a toddler around on his hip. It's been a long time since I saw Trevor sway with a baby and once again I was taken back to our own room, two years ago and seeing the guy who was once merely my crush cradle our child for the first time.
On the way home we talked about our own baby who continues to grow inside of me. How easy it is to forget that babies start out so small when your world becomes occupied by a 33 lb. ball of energy and noise. That ball of crazy-happy-fun-times started out as a 5 lb 14 oz peanut (a nickname he retains to this day). I wonder now as I type this if I allowed myself to enjoy those fleeting weeks of his babyhood to their fullest extent. I like to think I did and although I have a thousand pictures of those days, it's just so easy to forget new baby smell and silky skin until you're pleasantly reminded of it when holding a newborn again.
After the hospital, we picked up Jack from daycare. I rang the doorbell and when he saw me through the glass door his face burst into a Cheshire Cat grin and he took off in a full sprint toward me. By the time I got in he had jumped up into my arms, his arms and legs wrapped around me like a Velcro monkey. We kissed and hugged and my heart burst all over again. Picking up Jack and having our little family reunited again each night is the best part of every day.
Later that night, the 3 of us climbed up the stairs for Jack's bedtime ritual. Trevor laid on the futon buried in books, I awkwardly laid down next to him, my growing belly making it awkward to do most things these days. Instead of laying down next to us, Jack climbed up on me and as I propped myself up with throw pillows, Jack lied down across my belly. I held him there twisting his damp post-bath hair in my fingers while Trevor read us stories. His head rested on my chest so I know he could hear the thumping of my heart. All of a sudden, Jack's brother starting squirming and kicking. Unbeknownst to Jack his brother was kicking right there underneath him, both of them listening to my heart, both of them occupying a very large portion of it. A year from now they'll both be listening to their dad's bedtime stories laying side by side, which is exactly what they did last night for the very first time.
The world is filled with so many tiny moments of pure joy that I fear sometimes I'm missing them. Brand new strawberry blonde hair, the sight of your husband holding the beloved firstborn son of his best friend, the look of a new dad- exhausted but overcome with admiration and love for his wife and their new baby, the sound of Spider-Man sneakers running across a hardwood floor toward your waiting arms, and the feel of your two children holding space together even when neither is aware of the other's presence.
So many small and sacred moments can make up a day. I am so grateful that on February 19, 2013, I was able to hold them all and be present for them. Somehow all of these whispers exploded like fireworks on my heart.