I was looking through old pictures Friday night. Most of them from Morgan Kate's first year. There were so many that really made my memory feel fuzzy. In some ways there are things about that first year that I will never ever forget, but in other ways a lot of it seems like a blur or a fog. It's so hard for me to remember her being a newborn. One group of pictures really caught my attention. There was nothing fuzzy or foggy or blurry about what I remembered. It was perfectly clear. I remember the day, I remember the feeling, I remember the wait. It was a group of pictures from the first time my dad ever held Morgan Kate. And they were dated January 23, 2009. She was a day short of turning six months old and my dad was holding her for the very first time. Ever.Of course I was overcome with emotion as I looked at the picture. I called Travis in and he said, "Even today, your daddy still looks at her like that." And he's right. My daddy does. He loves our little girl so much. It made my heart swell to see that picture and to know I had captured it for a lifetime. It's definitely a memory I will never forget, but it's nice to have a more material form as well. It brought a smile to my face to see my daddy holding his baby girl's baby girl.
But it also made me sad.
Morgan Kate was six months old and my daddy was holding her for the very first time. It's not something he chose. It's not something he was "just getting around to". It was the first time because for so long we had had to be so careful. We brought her home in December. With oxygen. In the dead of winter and in the middle of RSV season. We didn't want her to get sick. We didn't want her to catch anything. We were scared to death. So, we followed all of the rules. (Maybe we went a little overboard at times, like whenever an article of her clothing would touch the ground I would immediately wash it, but looking back three years later, it definitely paid off.) And as much as we followed the rules, my dad followed them even more. You see, my dad is a serious rule follower in some ways. In others, not so much, but when it comes to health and safety and morals, he always follows the rules. He's also really particular about rules in hotels, but that story is for another post. Anyway, my dad doesn't typically break the rules and Morgan Kate was no exception. He wasn't going to hold her until he got the okay from us and from her doctors, all four of them. It didn't mean he didn't want to hold her. It didn't mean he wasn't longing to hold his first grand baby. It didn't mean that it wasn't breaking his heart. But, he did it. He did it for us. And he did it for her. And I know there is nothing in this world that he wouldn't do for all three of us.
While I am thankful to have that picture, I am even more thankful that it's January 23, 2012 and we are well past all of that. We can love our girl, be with our girl and hold our girl and we're not breaking any rules.