As daughter graduates, just one request
MALIBU, Calif. — My 21-year-old daughter, Kendall, and I are…
Dear Norah Esther Ross,
Welcome to the world, my precious granddaughter.
What an amazing, beautiful gift from God you are.
Your Papa — that’s my name, Papa — loves you so much.
Please forgive me for crying when I first met you. I couldn’t help it.
Your Nana loves you like crazy, too. She has an entire sewing room filled with new outfits for you. By the way, be prepared to change clothes every few hours. That way, you’ll get to wear all these miniature jumpsuits at least once.
Your parents adore you, too, as you no doubt have figured out during all those 2 a.m. feedings. That’s not to mention Granddad, Grammy, great-grandparents and lots of aunts, uncles, cousins and other relatives and family friends.
And your older brother, Bennett?
For nine months, he kept hearing about the baby in Mommy’s tummy. But I’m not sure he fully understood.
When you were still at the hospital, Bennett enjoyed a two-night sleepover at Papa and Nana’s house. The night you came home, we brought him to meet you for the first time. He seemed a little tired and cranky by the time we got there. That happens with toddlers (your brother is almost 3) who play hard all day and take a shorter-than-normal nap.
When Daddy unbuckled Bennett from his car seat, he whined and wiped his eyes.
“You want to go inside and meet baby Norah?” your dad asked.
“Yeah,” your brother said, perking up.
All of Bennett’s grumpiness disappeared when he got into the house and saw you. He was as smitten with you as the rest of us.
By the way, Maggie — that’s your family’s 90-pound yellow lab mix — was staying with your other grandparents. So she wasn’t a part of the welcoming party. But you’ll have plenty of time to get to know her.
Back to Bennett: He recognized you immediately when he saw Mommy sitting on the couch and holding you.
“Hey, baby Norah,” he said.
He rubbed your forehead and squeezed your tiny fingers before Mommy opened up your blanket and showed him your little toes.
He counted all 10 of them.
“Is she not in your tummy anymore?” he asked Mommy.
“She came out of Mommy’s tummy,” Daddy replied.
“You’re out, finally!” Bennett exclaimed. “You can run!”
We all laughed.
You can’t run yet. But if time passes as quickly with you as it did after Bennett was born, it won’t be long.
You just kept sleeping as Bennett held you for the first time.
He couldn’t stop smiling or staring at you. He kept kissing the side of your face.
Finally, Daddy asked if Nana and Papa could have a turn.
“No,” Bennett said.
“You are blessed with parents — and two sets of grandparents — who love Jesus. Our family’s biggest prayer is that you will grow up and follow him.”
But he eventually let go.
When it came time for Papa’s turn, Nana was a little harder to persuade.
What else can I tell you? You are blessed with parents — and two sets of grandparents — who love Jesus. Our family’s biggest prayer is that you will grow up and follow him. No matter what else happens, you always can count on our Lord and Savior.
At some point soon, we will take you to a Texas Rangers baseball game. Sadly, you were born into a family of long-suffering Rangers fans. If you live to be 100, there is a slight chance you will witness a winning season, perhaps even a magical one.
Papa writes for the newspaper. So be warned: Any cute things you do or say could end up in print.
I love you, Norah Esther Ross.
BOBBY ROSS JR. is Editor-in-Chief of The Christian Chronicle. Reach him at [email protected].
Subscribe today to receive more inspiring articles like this one delivered straight to your inbox twice a month.
Your donation helps us not only keep our quality of journalism high, but helps us continue to reach more people in the Churches of Christ community.