Did you miss me? During the time when I’m normally writing my monthly letter to you last month, Mary and I were anxiously awaiting the arrival of our baby girl. And while we thought pregnancy would never end, the waiting ceased at 3:47 PM on September 2nd. Maddison Alexandra Sundermier came screaming into this world as a healthy and beautiful treasure in our lives. Shortly after Maddison was born, I had an excess of emotions and a shortage on words to describe them. At that point, a thought I have recently contemplated was answered…
I always thought it humorous that everyone always asks you how much your baby weighs at birth. Of all things to ask about such a miraculous event, why is the weight so fascinating? Well, now that I’ve been through the experience myself, I think I know why it is such a classic question (Maddison was 7 pounds & 13 ounces, by the way).
Someone once told me a baby is born every six seconds. I don’t know how accurate that is, but its often enough to make it fairly commonplace. Yet, when it’s your baby, you feel that it has never happened before. It’s unprecedented, it’s unbelievable, and it’s an absolute miracle. The emotions are so intense you can’t describe them. That’s why I believe those wiser than you know to ask the weight of the baby. Yes, it’s a safe question, but more importantly it’s also an answer a new parent can communicate. Everything else is indescribable. As much as I want to articulate the feelings of being a father, watching Mary be an incredible mother, and witnessing a new life enter this world, but no words can justify them. Sometimes words just aren’t enough.
Think of the last experience you had where words weren’t enough. Was it a happy time? Was it a sad time? Both immense joy and sadness are often difficult to describe. Its my opinion these indescribable moments are the ones that make us most alive. How unfortunate that the most monumental times in our lives cannot be adequately shared with others through our words. But, I guess that’s why we give gifts to those we love, why we take cameras with us on vacations, and why we cry at funerals. Yes, words are powerful, but they’re very ineffective in describing the most powerful experiences we have as human beings.