I love babies. This is definitely an understatement. No words can describe just how much I love babies.
Whenever I think of babies, my heart melts and my face softens.
In the recent months, each time when friends shared with me news of their pregnancy or arrival of a new bundle of joy, I get teary and emotional. I can only feel utmost delight and sheer happiness for them. I smiled the entire day. I kept telling my boys that so-and-so is having a baby! I kept telling Olivia how much love the parents and baby will feel and how happy I am for them.
I think I was always happy for others at times of such blissful news, but perhaps never to this extreme.
A few months ago, I bumped into an ex-schoolmate whom I have not seen for 14 years. I was with Olivia and he had his 15-month-old toddler running around. We exchanged updates quickly and I was so pleasantly surprised that he is a father of 5! I couldn't stop smiling whenever I think of this fact. What an achievement and I am so full of envy and admiration for his wife and him. He surely seems like a wonderful dad material. When we are constantly surrounded by statistics telling us how much the birth rate is dropping, I always cheer (sometimes aloud) when I come across people with multiple kids. The first thing that comes to my mind is LOVE. Selfless love.
The next thought is slightly embarrassing. I find an overwhelming need to hug them! But I always stop myself in time, especially when they aren't my closest friends or if the opposite party is a guy.
If I were 5 years younger (and the hubby was willing), I would probably like another baby. That's also subjected to my obstetrician's approval given my three caesareans. But I am not any younger. So this is only good for daydreaming. Because of this thought, all the more I know I must cherish what I already have.
This morning, I woke to find a birth announcement from a friend afar. Within seconds, my eyes were so teary I needed a tissue. As I looked at the photos and read the brief words, my heart felt like bursting. From so much love for the little prince whom I know will be so loved and cherished by his parents for the rest of his life. And for my dear friend and hubby whom I know have their prayers answered. Just the thought of them holding their long-awaited child brings tears to my eyes (again).
Raising kids is very hard work. But it is all worth it. To me, this is what life and living is all about. Everything else pales in comparison.
(As I write this, I am also remembering the passing of a sick relative. He held on to his last breath and only closed his eyes yesterday morning when his son reached his bedside. As a parent, I think I can imagine his final thoughts. May he rest in peace.)