As I write this, my wonderful, talented, intelligent, industrious daughter-in-law has started contractions for her second son. She’s in DC, and I am in the snowy hinterlands of Utah. I’ll head out in a couple weeks to lay eyes and hands on the new little fellow and the rest of the family. I hope Heather has a reasonably restful night and an uncomplicated, efficient delivery – say, tomorrow morning at 10 am.
I hope my almost-three-year-old grandson enjoys his day with his other doting grandma, and that he won’t have any real sense of how his life is about to change but will, in his adorable way, welcome this new brother as yet another one of life’s joyful blessings.
I hope my daughter-in-law gets to sleep as much as the new baby does.
I hope they have picked out a name that he will wear as nobly as his older brother does his.
I hope my own son is as well-rested as possible and that he’s flooded with an awareness of the open corridor of the eternities that accompanies these existential events.
I hope this baby has some primal sense of how loved he is – already! – and of all the people who have contributed to his being here on our glorious, troubled planet.
I hope he senses the ancestors from Germany and Sweden and Great Britain who sacrificed and forged new identities as immigrants. I hope this baby grows up learning about his adventurous ancestor who was a stowaway on a ship from Sweden who, as a young captured soldier, stole the name and identity of a his newly dead cell mate in a Mexican jail, and created an entire new exciting life for himself.
I hope he learns about sacrifice and zeal evidenced in the life of his hardworking Swiss ancestress who stayed in Switzerland earning money to send the rest of her family to Zion before her by her earnings as a weaver and a literal “spinster.” This was the same woman who met her future husband – a handsome German man – as she crossed the plains, love-struck and blissful as the two of them walked hand in hand beside the wagons.
I hope he drinks in the talent, insight, compassion, common sense and steadiness of his mother along with the milk she provides. I hope he emerges eventually from his teenage years to see how amazing and generous and wise she is. I hope that through his youth and in his maturity, he will recognize women as his friends, equals, and respected associates.
I hope he echoes some of his dad’s cheerful demeanor, resilience, imagination, work ethic, smarts, sense of humor and faithful impulses.
I hope he and his older brother adjust well to each other without a lot of the drama and trauma of sibling rivalry.
I hope he will carry with him during his current journey and into mortality an awareness of the love his Savior has always had and will always have for him – a constant, unconditional, buoying love to support him through each trial and joy he will face. I hope he develops a relationship with Diety that gives him courage and confidence and fills him with a muscular love for his Creator.
I hope he can bear the challenges he will face with grace, patience, good will and wisdom. I hope he will have an innate sense of how much he is loved by those of us in his family who are eager to meet him.
I hope he can recognize all these hopes of mine as blessings called down upon him from his father’s mother who loves him already beyond words and time.
Safe travels, little one.