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Grandparents Make Us Smile

January 29, 2009

It has been so wonderful having Christer’s parents here for the past week.  I’ll admit I was a bit worried before they got here–we’ve reached a point of comfort where we can take care of ourselves and baby, but I wasn’t really ready to entertain yet.  But they’re eager to help, and although I don’t need the help the way I did when my parents were here right after Toby’s birth, all the company and assistance has made for a welcome vacation.  For the first time in two months I feel rested and relaxed, and although I sometimes feel like a poor host, I’m still enjoying it.

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Grandpa and Toby, the smaller surprising us all by smiling on cue.  Having a baby has been such a lesson in accepting help and letting in all the folks who are meaningful in our lives.  Friends have come to visit, often bringing food or offers of babysitting.   When we go out friends take turns holding and rocking a tired baby–giving us a welcome break, and also giving him the security of knowing he is part of a community that cares about him.  My parents were essential in the first couple of weeks as I was healing, physically and emotionally.  My family turned all their Christmas plans upside down in order to come here and have a low-key gathering.  And now Christer’s family is here, cooking meals, taking over nighttime feedings, keeping me company while we’ve been stuck indoors by poor weather and car trouble, fixing this and that around the house, and loving their little grandkid.

The challenge is going to be continuing to keeping ourselves and our son connected with all this love.  It sometimes seems easier, especially for an introvert like me, to go through our own routine with out reaching out.  And I’ll admit that houseguests bring a loss of privacy for a bit.  But the rewards of letting folks in, accepting help, or of paying it forward later go further than a full night’s sleep.  Somehow knowing that so many care for Toby helps me feel like the pains of pregnancy, the crying jags (both mine and his), and the new-parent worries are worthwile.  We aren’t just creating this child for ourselves, we are bringing a new little life into a community that welcomes him.  He’s our gift to our community, heck, maybe our world.  And their gift in return is to make him feel loved and secure as much as possible for as long as possible.  So that whatever he encounters as he grows, he always knows that there are many, many people with him on the way.

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