This week our middle child, Heather, gave birth to our first grandson, who happens to be absolutely perfect in every way. His first breath took ours away.
Instantly, our aerospace engineer daughter has become, first and foremost, a mother. Instead of working 8 to 5 Monday through Friday testing missile defense systems, she's on duty 24 seven, feeding, changing diapers, rocking, singing lullabies, and loving every minute of it.
John and I are staying at her house for this first week to help care for the baby and take some of the burden off our son-in-law, who, by the way, is a terrific Daddy. Suddenly, for all four of us, the center of the universe is one squirming, pink, eight-pound package.
When he cries, four adults jump into action, each claiming, "It's my turn to hold him."
Soon he'll be totally unable to sleep without being held and rocked and cooed over. Every smile, every wiggle, every sigh or cough or burp brings praise, laughter, and a dozen camera clicks.
Rorke David Ellison has had his picture taken more in his first four days than the rest of us have in four years.
Another big part of this cosmic life change for our daughter and son-in-law is the invasion of baby paraphernalia into their home. The three-bedroom, two-bath house that once seemed quite spacious is suddenly crowded to the rafters with an armada of baby vehicles - car seat, swing, walker, bouncer, stroller, play yard, and bathtub. There are so many stuffed toys in his crib there's no room for baby, and this tiny newborn has more clothes than I do.
In addition to all the clutter of baby stuff, there is such a steady stream of friends and relatives in and out, all wanting to kiss and coo over the new addition. The house needs a revolving door to handle the traffic. One thing it does not need is lighting. There are so many camera flashes going off day and night it could easily be mistaken for the second coming.
In the midst of this hubbub, it's easy to lose sight of the true significance of the event. A new life has joined the parade of humanity. Though it happens daily all around the world it is indeed a miracle every time. Each newborn demonstrates all over again the wonder of creation and brings with him, or her, the promise of a better future for us all.
Potentially, each new life could change everything. Each newborn could one day become another Albert Einstein or Marie Curie, a Nelson Mandela or Mother Teresa. He or she could also become another Charles Manson or Lucretia Borgia. It depends largely on the upbringing.
Our grandson is blessed to have two extremely intelligent and talented parents who have committed themselves to seeing that he has every opportunity for education, self expression, and achievement. They want it all for their child, but so does every new parent around the world.
Rorke's parents also have a strong faith in God and they intend to "train up their child in the way he should go, so when he is old he will not depart from it." He may one day be a world changer or he may live a quiet life of obscurity. Only God knows the path he'll choose.
Ah, but our grandson has another distinct advantage. He has four grandparents who believe in his potential almost as much as they believe in the loving God who gave us all this precious gift.