Last week my daughter gave birth to a beautiful baby girl - my first grandchild. I was fortunate enough to be with her as she labored to bring the baby into the world, and to spend a week with them helping the new family adjust to the changes. This trip provided an unexpected opportunity to step out of my regular stress-filled existence into a simpler, quieter, more peaceful place run strictly on baby-time.
In baby-time there is little attempt to adhere to personal schedules as everything revolves around the needs of the infant. Aside from tending to the baby’s needs, one could (and we did) spend countless hours just looking at the face of a sleeping baby, fascinated by the different contortions she makes while sleeping. In baby time, holding the child to coax a burp is an opportunity to kiss the top of the cloud-soft head, and to inhale deeply the scent of newborn baby that is like none other.
Holding this new baby in my arms over the past week has been one of the most profound experiences of my adult life. As I have held her, rocked her, talked softly to her, and prayed over here my mind was not tempted to wander. Tasks not completed or put on temporary hold back home held no interest for me. I was not tempted to check my work email, and in fact I only used my personal email to distribute new pictures of the precious girl.
Occasionally I found my mind wandering back to the time when my daughter was first born. There, cradling my granddaughter I was struck with the wonder of this circle of life. Soon, softly, gently, and with little effort, I would return to baby time.
Today I journey back home and I find myself walking through the airport with a serene smile on my face, almost wondering if anyone can tell that I am a new grandma. My fervent hope is that I will be able to retain the wisdom and pleasure of baby time for a long while to come.