Today my baby is six months old.
How was she ever so small!? On the one hand, it feels like I was holding her in my arms for the first time only a few days ago, and on the other hand, I can’t imagine life without her mischievous, crinkly-eyed, gummy grins.
I was telling Beatrice this morning about the first time her Daddy and I saw her and I almost started to cry. I still can’t believe God entrusted us with this beautiful, precious, sweet daughter. How can she hold my whole heart in those tiny, chubby hands, and enchant me with one conspiratorial grin?
Will and I were broken-hearted when we lost our first baby two summers ago, and I still don’t know why God wished to take that little child home to Himself so soon. He is good though, and He is kind, and though I still remember the pain and ache of loss, I realize that if He hadn’t taken our first child we would never have met little Beatrice. I don’t understand God’s ways, but when I catch a glimpse of them I am always filled with wonder and quieted by His goodness, and love, and mercy. It comforts me to think that we didn’t really lose a child, but gained one, and while we hold our precious Beatrice in our arms, God holds the baby we never got to meet. It makes me think of what Joseph said to his brothers in Genesis 50:20, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”
We chose the name Beatrice because it means “Bringer of Joy,” as well as “Blessing,” or “Blessed.” Beatrice has brought so much joy into our lives since the moment we knew of her, and she is indeed the dearest blessing God has given Will and I. Her middle name means “Grace,” because God gave us a daughter when our arms were empty and we cried to Him. I don’t know how He ever trusts us with these tiny, precious souls, but He is gracious indeed! :)
Beatrice, you have your father’s dancing blue eyes and impossibly long eyelashes. You are always ready to share a conspiratorial grin with him that only you two understand, and he is the only one who can always make you laugh. When I catch you smiling at each other adoringly, my heart melts.
You are a serious little lady. You sit in your highchair and watch me cook with eyebrows raised in mild interest. You seem to enjoy walks in the stroller even though you frown and furrow your brow in concentration. You love to hold books and try to turn the pages when we read to you.
You are also a cheerful, pleasant soul. You enjoy baths and smiling at yourself in the mirror. Your favorite songs make you laugh. You are quick to smile and your eyes often twinkle with a look of secret mischief. You squeal with happy delight at being alive and then you try to eat your toes.
You are intense and calm, serious and cheerful. You wish to be held constantly, or at least be near enough to touch, and have no interest in crawling or standing – you prefer to be carried. We are thankful that you like to cuddle (even if it’s inconvenient when I am trying to make dinner) and love to watch your quiet, calm, serious little ways and joyful smiles.
You are the loveliest, most perfect, beautiful gift I have ever been given, and it fills me with awe to hear your happy singing begin from your crib at 6am each morning (even if it is a tad early), or see your eyes light up in a smile, or stroke your fluffy head and hold your tiny fingers while you sleep.
As I write this you are crying because you are tired and you do not want to sleep. You want cuddles, and books, and kisses, and to grab tightly to my shirt with chubby fingers and bury your face in my neck, while you choke back sniffles dramatically (you know I can never resist you when you do that). You are tiring and demanding and amazing and worth every minute.
Your Daddy and I love you so very much, Beatrice, and we are thankful for every moment we are given with you.