So many of my friends are talented photographers. I take my photos with my phone and struggle to get clear shots. But there’s another way to capture a moment:

I was roused from a deep sleep by my brother’s shaking my foot. “Dani, can you take Baby for a while? Maria and I really need to sleep.” Instantly awake, I untangled myself from my little niece sleeping beside me and crawled out of my warm bed. I heard Claudia’s newborn cry from down the dark hall. I took her from her apologetic mama. The clock blinked 1:00. “I’m sorry,” Maria whispered. “But I haven’t gotten any sleep yet tonight.” I took the whimpering little bundle and held her upright against my chest, her wee head nestled under my chin. Only two days old, my niece already had strong opinions about how she liked to be held.

In the living room, I paced back and forth and hummed softly. I rocked her as I walked, that unique baby-holding dance that seems to quiet little ones better than anything else. Her whimpers became sporadic. Underneath my humming I listened to the sounds of the city outside: traffic, distant sirens, dogs barking. Streetlights illuminated the living room even though all the blinds were drawn. I felt the warmth of the little body against me, felt her grow heavy as she relaxed. After she quieted, I stretched out on my back on the couch with her nestled on top of me. Half asleep, I pondered the wonder of a new little life. Regretted how quickly babies grow up. Marveled at God’s goodness in allowing me to be a part of this miracle in my brother’s family.

Claudia stirred and I patted her gently back into dreamland. 

I’ll add a photograph by one of those talented friends: Claudia’s mama.

Claudia's Birth Announcement