Yesterday I took my younger girls (5, 9, 13) to a baby shower for a family friend, one who is like an older sister to all my girls. A year ago, they came along to her bridal shower and helped make the toilet paper wedding dress; now they are tracking the due date for her first baby, and how soon she will need a babysitter. The girls brought their own presents, played party games, and helped track the gifts for thank-you notes. They were so excited to pick out baby clothes and be a part of the celebration. "It's my first baby shower!" they said, though I probably brought them to some as babies.
Last week, my 13-year-old said that during a break in her play practice all the girls - and then all the boys - put themselves in line to hold the assistant director's baby because she's "SO cute" and they all wanted a turn. We discussed who has the cutest babies currently, with some differences of opinion, and then whether babies remember things from before birth, when they grow fingerprints, etc,...
We're blessed to have lots of little cousins and friends' babies to hold. I have hundreds of pictures of my girls over the years looking delighted while holding babies, and looking their very sweetest selves.
Teens can be contrary and self-centered - like all of us, but more so ; ). It's a blessing when something pulls us out of ourselves and into the present moment. Nature, exercise, and pets can all do that. But perhaps babies do it best. It's unbelievable, every time, that babies have all their human parts; that they had them all when they were an inch or two long; that this miraculous process occurred without being seen; that anything so fragile can be alive and likely to stay that way for 80 years.
The picture is of my 16-year-old. Normally this girl is thinking about work, money, real estate, fashion, etc,... but after we visited with this little cousin, she kept talking about how cute he was and how holding him makes her hope she has a baby someday.
I'm happy she's driven - she started walking at 9 months and it's definitely part of who she is - but also relieved when she has these mellow moments and remembers that people are more important than things. We all need to hold babies and feel their sweetness.