Weight

My baby is one month old today.

One of my favorite things about newborns is the way you can snuggle with them while they sleep. This phase is always over too soon, so I’m purposely prolonging it with D. She just rests on my chest, head on my sternum.

Fully asleep, the weight of her is astounding. Just over nine pounds of warm, breathing human, perfectly still and completely alive.

This is the weight of glory.* An embodied soul. Completely a person as much as any adult, in a tiny package. All her heartbreaks, all the ways we’ll love her and fail her, all the trials and chances that will make her character amazing, those things are all before her. But she’s still completely herself.

People, I think, do not so much develop as they are revealed. Technically, one would think she hasn’t become anything yet, that her decisions and circumstances will shape her in ways that haven’t yet been decided. That’s true enough. But when I look back at baby pictures of my other kids, and compare them to what they are like now… everything that they are now, seems to already be contained in that baby. It just hasn’t been revealed yet.

I don’t mean that in a deterministic way. I just mean that, based on my limited observation, people seem to have eternity built into them. Whatever she becomes, she already is now; we just don’t know it yet. Already it seems like we were always a family of five, we just hadn’t met everyone yet.

Maybe it’s a paradox. Maybe it’s nonsense. For today I’ll keep my little human on my heart, and let the weight of her personhood pass straight through my sternum and store it up in my heart. I hope that store of glory helps me do my part to be the answer to my biggest prayer for my people, which is that they will know they are loved.

Happy month-birthday, little D!

Butterfly hat from Katrina at Crafty Jaks Boutique.

*The phrase “Weight of Glory” comes from a sermon by C. S. Lewis. It can be found in this anthology of the same name, and is in every way worth your time.


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