Our son called the other night to talk about his son awhile. It's a blessing to hear your own child talking about parenthood and the awesome feeling of holding his own tiny newborn. While we talked, I heard a little mewing sound in the background.
Soon, it turned into a tight whimper and then a full, high-pitched cry. My heart responded immediately! Our brand-new grandson was making conversation, though not necessarily with his Nana on the phone. There was a rustling sound and then our son's deep voice.
"Hang on a minute, Nana ..."
More static over the phone as he situated Jason Cody on his shoulder and said, "Okay, big boy, I know there's a burp in there somewhere. Show Nana how you can burp!"
It's an amazing thing how the human heart continues to grow and enlarge through the years. I know mine has certainly expanded each time a new family member has made an appearance.
First, there was a sweet baby girl named Melissa, who made her entrance at 5 a.m. on a lovely Saturday morning in May of 1980. The doctor held her up for me just as she opened her mouth and gave a pitiful little Where-am-I? cry, and my heart responded.
Oh, how we loved our dainty firstborn child! Just looking at her perfectly-formed fingers, toes, chin, eyelashes and mouth could bring tears to my eyes. Could there ever be another baby so precious?
Two years and one week later, our hearts nearly burst with joy again. It was 6:32 on a June morning in 1982 when our son Jason arrived ... fast! The dr. described that delivery as if our son was "on a slippery slide and there was no stopping him!" Seconds later, he split the silence of the delivery room with a lusty cry! My mommy heart responded again, swelling with love and compassion and tenderness for our little man. Holding him close to my heart, I couldn't help laughing and crying at the same time.
How could we possibly love two children so much! Yet love them we did, and our happy little home seemed perfect and complete with one lovely daughter and one handsome son. Imagine my surprise when hubby suggested, two and a half years later, that we consider having another baby?
He had been to a men's conference and was extremely touched by a story a young father shared that day. Like us, this couple had a son and a daughter and figured their family was complete. One afternoon, however, their children surprised them with an unexpected request. Offering a jar full of pennies, nickles and dimes, they asked, "Could you use this to get us a little baby brother or sister? "
The father shared, at the conference, how unreasonable it all seemed ... their dreams of one boy and one girl had been fulfilled. Their lives were organized and prioritized to the "nth" degree, and he thought things were just fine. Should they even consider another baby? Why were the children so anxious for one when the parents were not?
It struck him as selfishness on his part -- strictly for convenience sake. Didn't God say that children are a blessing? He and his wife agreed to pray about it and ask God to tender their hearts if another child was His will for them.
Long story short, they did have a third child and their family was blessed beyond measure with the little 'caboose.' Why was my husband telling me all this? It was a sweet story, and I was moved by the tenderness in my husband's eyes as he related it, but...
We had recently sold off the playpen, crib, walker, highchair and everything else related to baby care. We, too, had finally settled into a little routine, and our son was sleeping well through the night after 15 months of up-and-down. (He wasn't a crier, he was just a happy night owl!)
It was almost unbelievable to think of starting again, wasn't it? I was in shock, to say the least. My hubby didn't press the issue. That night, when he prayed with me before bedtime, we specifically asked for God's wisdom and guidance in the matter of another child.
Long story short, we had a third child and our family was blessed beyond measure! On a blustery, raw day in January 1986 -- after a painful labor and our son being born with the umbilical cord choking him to blue and purple -- we cried out to the Lord!
When Kevin finally gave out a serious cry, my heart responded. Such relief and joy and bliss and thanksgiving it was to hold another son in my arms! A healthy son that was going to be just fine! God is so good, and we thank Him for each of our children.
Watching them grow up was a delight to my heart. There have been times -- many times -- I would pause to observe them working or playing together and think ... What we would have missed if we had stopped at two! It was hard to imagine life without our cuddly, comical, curly-headed Kevin. Surely, my cup -- and my heart -- was truly full!
Time rocked along, and our children grew up, left home for college and met their future spouses.
In 2005, the Lord gave us a brand-new daughter (in law) -- a perky, precious girl who thinks our son hung the moon. My heart expanded again.
In 2006, a son (in law) was added to the clan when Luke married our daughter, and lo and behold, I had room enough in my heart for him, too. He is a fine man and treasures our girl, so what more could we ask?
Their son Ethan was born in March of 2009, and we got to the hospital shortly after his arrival. I didn't hear him cry at all until the day we took him home to new surroundings. When I did hear him cry, my heart responded again... almost like he was my own. We sure have learned to love that precious lil' guy. When I am with him or hear his baby noises over the phone, my heart is full of love and joy.
And now we have Jason Cody! I can hardly wait to get him in my arms and fall in love all over again. I've learned the heart is an amazing organ and has plenty of room to grow. No matter how many family members are added, God has designed the human heart with the particular ability to expand with love!
Well, I'm off for now, but I'll post again when I get back, and I'll bring lots and lots of photos to share! For now, here's a sweet shot of my latest heart-expander ... doing some serious snuggling with his mommy.
"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above ..." James 1:17