For Lillian

Lillian, my newest granddaughter, seeing your name for the first time immediately brought to mind the great-great-grandmother you are named for. She was a large, pillowy woman. One of the family stories described the time your grandfather, as a little boy, snuggled into her generous soft bosom and told her, "Grandma, you have such big hearts."

She did have a big heart. Her life held ample hardships, but also ample love. Her gift to her grandchildren and great-grandchildren was warm approval and unconditional love. She had a special bond with your grandfather, who was her first grandchild. Your father and his little sister loved to visit her; you certainly would have, too.

Part of what is miraculous about a newborn baby like you, granddaughter, is the wonder of getting to know a complete, unique person who wasn't here yesterday. Making that acquaintance from a distance isn't the same, of course, as doing so in person.

Yet, thanks to technology—a miracle in itself, even if it isn't anywhere close to the miracle of a brand-new human being—you, only hours old, were right there on the computer screen. It was possible to marvel at your delicate fingers, smile at how tiny you looked in your father's arms, and try to figure out who you looked like (yourself, mostly, at this point).

You were indignant in your first few minutes in the world, but observing it thoughtfully by your second day. You'll need both that indignation and that contemplation to thrive here. It's a challenging as well as a delightful world you've been born into.

You'll also need the love of people with big hearts. And that is one thing you already have. Welcome, little Lillian. It's wonderful to have you here.

Categories: Living Consciously | Leave a comment

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