It’s been a long first day of life for my newest granddaughter, Avery Ann.  It began at 6:36 a.m., with first breaths and cries.  And as I lay myself down to sleep, I pray that God blesses Avery Ann with a long life filled with many such days as this first one.

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Weighing in at eight pounds and twelve ounces, Avery is not so small for a newborn; but smaller than some of the nurses were thinking, since we heard a few “nine-pound-somethings” bandied across the birthing bed.  Really now.  Was that necessary?  That’s my granddaughter you’re talking about.

I’m wondering if Avery is as tired as I am?  Oh, surely she is.  Trumped only by my youngest daughter, her mother, who gets today’s top prize for being “all-tuckered-out.”  But in spite of it all, now that late night rushing to the hospital and labor are behind them, mother and child are doing well, getting to know one another, both lucky to be receiving expert and loving care from my oldest daughter, who just happens to be an excellent OBY-GN nurse.  One of today’s many gifts was bearing witness to the love between my two daughters, as I watched my oldest, Kate comfort the younger, Kara.  Not once, mind you.  But over and over.  Kate is “on duty” these first forty-eight hours — in an unofficial capacity — and even though I know it’s hard work, she makes it all look easy.

Avery spent the day getting to know many members of her very large family.  Of course, she was cuddled by both parents, many, many times.  But also by two aunts, two uncles and six very proud grandparents.  But some of the sweetest love she got today was surely from big sister Reese Caroline, wouldn’t you agree?

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I didn’t catch the two young sisters first meet and greet.  Instead, I was at home in my kitchen, baking up a double batch of ginger cookies as well as a batch of pumpkin muffins for my girls and whoever dropped by.  But I am grateful that I was there to observe their second encounter.  Reese is so gentle with Avery.  She sits so very still.  And she cannot take her eyes from Avery.   I wish love could always and everywhere be expressed as sweet as this.

Love is such a holy, mysterious thing. It is borne and born and as much miracle as birth itself.  Why it is expressed in all that we are and do for one another…even when our love feels like nothing but awkward first baby steps.  By way of example, look no further then this posting by a very tired grandmother, who shouldn’t have even attempted to write these words, but fumbled and tripped across them anyway.

So, happy birthday, Avery Ann.  As your family birthday song goes, I hope you live to be a hundred.  And then a hundred more…

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