Babies inspire love. People often assume that the older children will be jealous of the new baby, and I am always asked what my kids think of our new babies. The answer is simple. My kids love the baby. They always have loved each new baby.
My toddlers love the baby. It is so sweet to watch them lean over and kiss each new baby. They want to sit on my lap, right beside the new baby. Sometimes they want to hold the baby's hand. As long as the toddler isn't pushed away and ignored, they respond well to the new baby.
My elementary aged kids, even my tough boys, love the baby. They often will ask to hold the baby, or will sit beside me while I'm holding the baby and rub the baby fuzz on her head. They'll stop in their play to come over and kiss the baby. They bring her toys, even before she's old enough to hold them.
My teens, who are often annoyed by their younger siblings (the middle ones), love the baby. They hold her for me, and are excited when she smiles and coos at them. They work to get smiles out of her, and dream of names for their future babies someday.
Babies inspire love. Steve comes home from work, tired and stress, with a to-do list a mile long. But if Baby V starts to fuss while I'm busy, he'll pick her up and relax in our rocking recliner with her on his chest. The stress starts to melt away.
When it seems my day is full of children talking back, corrections to fighting preschoolers, reminders to distracted middlers, and difficult discussions with my teens ... it is nice to look down into Baby V's adoring eyes and know that at least SHE is not mad at me. She simply loves.
Babies inspire love. And I believe that the tenderness each of us feels for Baby V helps us to be more loving toward each other, too. There are still plenty of non-loving moments between my children, but at least I know their hearts are still tender when I get to watch them with Baby V. When I pause in my own busy-ness to hold Baby V, and I look into her eyes, my heart fills with love. That moment helps me look at each of my children with love, despite the struggles we may have had that day.
I'm so thankful for each of my children, including 2 month old V. She smiles. She coos. She snuggles. She cries because she needs us. And we need her.
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