As our friends at The Onion noted some years ago, the Miracle of Birth has again happened for the umpteenth billionth time. :-) And it stops you in your tracks every single damn time.
Many years ago at a Christmas brunch I strolled past my mom sitting by herself away from the hustle -n- bustle of the rest of the socializing. She was holding someone’s new baby, and as I walked by I heard her cooing to the baby as she gently rocked with it back and forth and not really intentionally listening I heard some of what she was saying to that baby. Within a rhythmic undulation of words that flowed with her rocking, I heard my mom say, “ohh, and isn’t the world so lucky to have babies in it.”
Total honesty: I wasn’t a parent at the time, and I thought she was just showing how crazy some ladies are for babies!! I was like, ohhh jeez, she’s getting ridiculous over a baby again! What’s actually funny, however, is how ridiculous I was in my ignorance of what’s ridiculous and what’s miraculous.
Her words boomeranged back at me, though, because one morning years later, in 2003 within the cuddling tumble of first endless mornings of the first few months of my daughter’s life, as I held her in my hands, swaying like one does when holding babies, and I returned my gaze to her face after looking at something else — something not as obvious, not as easy, not as pure or as fresh or as new — I realized how so very wise those words my mom spoke had been.
How lucky indeed are we that there are babies in the world.
And so I have a little theory that the song “Silent Night” is actually best understood — best appreciated — not merely as a catchy melody on the topic of the birth of a deity in human form, but as an ode to every baby — every baby ever born. Listen to it again if you feel like you’re not in agreement.
If you’re lucky enough to have a brand new baby or little ones who are still under, say, 9 years old, enjoy the gift others do not know of relishing the spare moment to just be still and watch your own child so tender and mild sleep the sleep of heavenly peace.
For so rests our weary world.