Thursday, September 6, 2012
Just over a week ago, an old co-worker of mine gave birth to her first child, a daughter. Only those of us who are already parents can know the mixture of feelings she and her husband are likely experiencing - excitement, joy, panic, and everything in between. And undoubtedly, only mothers can truly understand the full spectrum of what motherhood means to her.
In any case, I wanted to send her a nice baby gift. This is one of those times when most men should probably defer to the women in their lives to select the appropriate things. And that's what I did. My wife loves to shop for baby gifts and she went out tonight and took care of this part of the job (she gets a BIG assist on this one). I then packaged the items up and, along with a card, will have them in tomorrow's mail.
New babies, and their parents, are a fascinating study on so many different levels. Without intending to be too corny, it reminds me of the song Circle of Life from The Lion King. Every time a new baby is born, the parents rejoice and become totally consumed by everything from the care of the child to the amazement at every new milestone and developmental stage. To them, it's as if this is the first baby that's ever been born to the world. And yet, of course, the same thing has been happening across hundreds of generations and thousands of years. There's very little that's new in all this - except to the family to whom this baby was born.
Obviously, the same can be said of virtually every other stage of life - from children going to school to learning to drive to leaving the home. Even the stages we go through as adults all follow pretty predictable patterns that have existed for thousands of years. And yet to those going through it, they'd swear it's never happened like this before. And, I suppose, that's as it should be.