I gazed down reverently at the tiny bundle in my arms. I still couldn’t believe she was there – my daughter was finally there. She was so light in my arms – she weighed almost nothing. Sofia was the most precious thing I’d ever touched, ever held. Shed’ been born two days ago, and my amazement had not dampened in the slightest.
A few minutes ago, she’d woken up and started to cry. Now that she’d been changed and rocked, she was as happy as a baby could be. She looked up at me with the wide blue eyes that every baby was born with; soon, they would darken to a chocolatey brown like mine and Krys’s.
“Do you know how beautiful you are?” I whispered to her. She answered with an adorable little smile. If Krys were here, she’d say it was just gas, but I preferred a different explanation.
My pocket vibrated. Reluctantly, I put Sofia down and took out my phone; Alison’s name flashed across the screen.
A smile coming to my face, I answered the call. “Hey, Allie.”
“Hey,” she said breezily. “I’m just leaving Mom’s. I thought I’d call and see if you guys needed anything while I was in Willow Creek.”
“No, we’re good. But – hey, you want to come over for dinner tonight?”
“Depends – who’s cooking?”
I snorted and stepped out of the nursery. “Krys’s cooking isn’t that bad,” I defended my wife. “You’re not one to talk, anyway.”
“Ah, but I recognize my limitations,” Alison said with a grin in her voice. “I’ll see if Luc wants to.”
“Okay, just let me know.” Again, my phone vibrated. This time, the pattern signaled a new message. “I’ve got to go; I think Mom is here.”
“She’s there again? Didn’t she come over yesterday, too?”
“Yup.” So far, she’d seen Sofia everyday of her life. “I’m just waiting on her to try to be our live-in nanny,” I said with a laugh. A moment later, I disconnected and went down the stairs. Sure enough, Mom had not only arrived but had let herself in and was unloading groceries into the refrigerator.
I couldn’t help but roll my eyes at her. “Mom, what are you doing?”
She shut the refrigerator door and smiled at me. “I just picked up some easy stuff for you guys. Sandwich makings, that sort of thing.”
“Well, thanks, but I really think we can manage to feed ourselves.”
The older woman chuckled. “You’d be surprised.” A broad grin split her face. “Now, where’s my grandbaby?”
I just shook my head in amazement and gestured to the stairs. “Right where you left her yesterday.” She ignored my little dig and proceeded up the stairs.
I followed after her. In short order, Mom had Sofia in her arms and was cuddling and cooing to her just like I’d done just a few minutes ago.
“Were you like this with Caleb, too?” Wasn’t the amazement of being a grandparent supposed to wear off after the first one? Or had she been even worse than this with Caleb?
“Oh, yes, of course.” Mom snuggled Sofia. “She looks so much like you, Josh.” She laughed quietly. “Did I ever tell you how you used to have this birthmark on your behind – I wonder if Sofia has one, too – and whenever I’d change your – “
“Aaand that’s enough of that.” Yes, I’d heard the story before. No, I never needed to hear it again.
She laughed at me again in the way that seems to be unique to parents. “Where is Krys?”
“She’s having a nap.”
“You ought to have one, too,” Mom advised. “Sleep when the baby sleeps. Or has someone else around to care for her.”
“I know, Mom. But nothings going to get done at home if we both sleep when she’s quiet. Besides, I’m not tired.”
“You should try to nap anyway,” she said sagely. “In a few weeks, you’ll regret all the naps you’ve ever missed.”
“You’re probably right,” I agreed. “But someone’s got to make dinner.” When she opened her mouth, I knew she was going to offer to do it, so I cut in, “And that someone is me. Thank you for all the help, Mom, really, but you can cut the apron strings.” I’d thought she’d done that already, but apparently she’d grown a new set after Krys got pregnant.
She sighed wistfully and settled Sofia down in her bassinet. “I know, you’re right. I just can’t believe how grown up all of my babies are. You married and a father now. Nora’s wedding is almost here. The twins are both looking at college brochures.”
“I know what you mean.” My phone buzzed with a new message. It was Alison letting me know we were on for dinner.
“Wait until you’re my age and all your chicks are flying the coup. You’ll keep trying to parent them, too.”
I was certain she was absolutely right.