Posts Tagged ‘new baby’

Hopes for my nephew

I was lucky enough to recently spend a week with my one-month old nephew. Spending time with a brand new baby and other young children amongst my friends and family helps put life into perspective.

So these are my hopes for my nephew as he grows up and finds his own way in the world:

– remember that you just need the basics

Babies cry when they are hungry, tired or sick and once any of these are fixed they are content. As you become older, society may try to tell you that owning as many expensive things as possible will make you happy but I hope don’t believe it – being happy, healthy and not having to worry about the next pay-cheque are enough.

– keep trusting people

Kids are incredibly trusting. Although I don’t want you to be naïve, I hope you think that people are basically good – I have travelled a lot and 99% of people I have met around the world have been great.

– keep accepting differences

You have parents who come from different continents, different religions and speak different languages. However, you will have the example before you every day that love can create something wonderful from these differences, so I hope you don’t let grown-ups teach you to be frightened of others.

– don’t lose your sense of wonder and curiosity

Babies are amused by the smallest things and as they grow up they never stop asking why. I hope you approach each day with that same sense of curiosity and never cease to be amazed by the wonder of everyday things.

– continue to play

Kids play with complete abandon and amazing creativity. I hope you never stop trying to learn new things and doing them in your way.

– keep your energy and enthusiasm

Children make it really obvious when they like doing something.  I hope you are fortunate enough to do something that you absolutely love so that you have that same sense of enthusiasm every day.

Whenever adults look at babies we are struck by the miracle of new life and how our capacity to love keeps expanding. So I hope you get to experience a life that always feels miraculous and, above all, is full of love.

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My sister-in-law sent me a 12-week scan of my new niece/nephew today and although I am using a cliche, I have to say new life is always miraculous.

I can already imagine the years stretching ahead as this little bunch of cells inside her body becomes their own person and brings out unconditional love in the new parents and the rest of our extended family which stretches across three continents.

These feelings are expressed much more eloquently by one of my favourite writers, Fergal Keane, when he wrote a Letter to Daniel, his son who was born in 1996.

The letter ends :

“Yet now Daniel, I must tell you that when you let out your first powerful cry in the delivery room of the Adventist Hospital and I became a father, I thought of your grandfather and, foolish though it may seem, hoped that in some way he could hear, across the infinity between the living and the dead, your proud statement of arrival. For if he could hear, he would recognise the distinct voice of family, the sound of hope and new beginnings that you and all your innocence and freshness have brought to the world.”

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