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To My Youngest Grand


Dear Neil,

I blew a kiss.  Did you catch it?  Your mother’s holding you tightly.  You’re wearing the little blue outfit that you wore home from the hospital.  You’re only two weeks old – a newborn.  And Pop’s and my sixth grandchild.  You are perfect!

Pop and I see you on our computer.  Your clinched fists, your squinted eyes, your wrists and ankles with tiny creases, your black, short, straight hair.  Do you look like your big brother?  A bit.  Same cute nose and round face.

Real soon I get to hold you.  Hug you.  Kiss you.  Rock you.  Read to you.  And even change a diaper or two.  Seeing you through the magic of video talk is better than hearing your parents describe you over the telephone, but I need to hold you in my arms.  Watch you stretch your fists high over your head as you awaken.  Smack your lips when you are hungry.  Cross your legs under your bottom when you sleep.  I even want to hear you cry.  Your way of saying, “Help me!” and I must figure out what you need.

I wonder if the experts are right.  They say that newborns can focus best at 8 -12 inches and that people’s faces are your favorite things to see.  Colors are difficult for you to distinguish; simple black and white pictures are best. So I’ll get close when I talk to you, and I’ll draw black and white stick-person pictures to hang in your room.

You hear well.  And you most like to hear people talk to you.  Especially when the sounds you make are repeated.  That’s why we grandparents babble so.  We’re speaking your language.  And you like everyday sounds.  When your two-year-old brother squeals and sings as he plays with balls and cars, you must be happy.  According to experts, you like to be touched – you know that you’re loved and cared for when you’re held and hugged and kissed.  I didn’t need an expert to tell me that!

Someone actually did a sweet and sour taste test to see which flavor newborns prefer.  Of course, you’d choose sugar water over lemon-flavored water.  When you’re a little older, I’ll feed you ice cream instead of sour apple popsicles.  Your sense of smell is developed enough that you turn away from unpleasant odors.  I’m sure you like the smell of your mother’s chocolate chip cookies baking in the oven.

Neil, you’ll be a newborn for such a short time.  One day you’ll lie on the floor, kick your legs, and turn over.  And later you’ll get up on your hands and knees, rock back and forth, move a few inches, and crawl.  And by this time next year, you’ll be walking!

But for now, you are content to have your belly full, be warm, and sleep.  I can hardly wait to swaddle you in a blanket and cradle you in my arms.  As a friend said, “There’s nothing as sweet as holding a newborn.  They wad up in your arms.  Just a little bundle of love.”

Love you forever,



One Response

  1. Oh how sweet! Let me wipe that tear away


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