Andrew is just over two months old now. As I hold him, especially in the middle of the night when it's just the two of us awake and the house is quiet and peaceful, I can't help but think about how sweet it is to hold a baby in your arms. How warm and soft and comforting it is to us as parents. And how nice it must be for the baby, too. :)
When our children are just babies, it's so easy to love them. All they need from us is to be fed, dry, warm, and to feel safe. As long as they feel like someone is going to hold them when they cry, feed them when they're hungry, wrap them warm and snug and hold them close, they're happy. They're secure. They really don't need much. My heart is overwhelmed as I hold my newest baby, just as it was when I held his brother and sisters when they were small. This tiny little life, this little person, so totally dependent on me, so completely trusting that I will always be there to take care of him and give him whatever he needs.
As our kids get older, it takes a little more to make them feel secure. Suddenly there's frustration, anger, sibling rivalry, hurt feelings, hormones, bad days in general. We can't just take them in our arms and rock them and make everything OK anymore. Perhaps older kids are less physically exhausting (they sleep through the night, after all), but I think they are at times mentally and emotionally more exhausting. It's easy to get frustrated with them ourselves and forget how sweet they felt in our arms when they were so tiny and innocent, back before they learned to whine or throw things or bite or complain about their math. I think it's important and helpful to stop and remember what it was like when they were babies, how easy it was to love them, to remember that they're still our babies, and even though they may be too big for rocking in the chair together, they're never to big for a hug or a shoulder to cry on or a pat on the back.
As they get older, I think they need us just as much, to make them feel loved and secure. The ways they need us to do these things may be different, but they need us just the same. They still need to feel like Mommy and Daddy will always be there to keep them safe and provided for. Having a new baby in the house has reminded me of this and really helped me look at my older children through more loving eyes again. They were once tiny and helpless, too (and cute!).
I love all my children with a fierceness that is almost scary at times. Despite the frustration they may cause me sometimes, I will always do my best to love and care for them, to support and encourage them, to make them feel safe in my love and in their father's love, and most importantly...in their Father's love!