Once you have a child, you are never the same again. Even if you think you're ready, you have no idea the grasp a child will have in your life nor the power she'll hold upon your heart. It is an overwhelming, unconditional, all-consuming relationship you enter into the moment you hear that first heartbeat and feel the flutter of movement from within.
When a baby is born, you watch it in awe: ten tiny fingers and toes; perfect little nose and ears; bright eyes that look deep within your own. A little person in the making who has descended directly from God.
You think you could not love her any more than you already do as she takes those first steps and enchants you with her baby giggles. You think there is no stronger feeling than when you hold his little hand in yours, cherishing the warmth of his babyness next to you.
But you are wrong.
When you have a child, your love grows up, right alongside him. The feelings held for him as you rocked him to sleep escalate into a profound and deeper place as he turns the corner from childhood into a young adult. It is the magic of parenthood...the gift of love.
It is a place that is stronger and more real because now you don't just love her for who she is, but for who she has become. She is no longer just of your heart, but of her own.
I watch as my stepdaughter holds her own baby, the charm of new love written on her face. He is her new life, her new path and it will be filled with adventures. As precious as he is now, the feelings will only grow through the years as she fights to protect him and nurture him and teach him the way to go.
How lovely to know that even though his babyhood will one day end, the wonders of a parent's love are only just beginning....and what a magnificent journey it will be!