Do you remember those first words? When you sweet little one spouted out the most incredible thing ever said by a baby. Did you squealed with delight, pick them up and danced around the room, called your spouse, fumbled for the video camera, called grandparents, post on the internet, write it in their baby book, and celebrated the rest of the night? Do you remember the joy that came bubbling up from your heart? How your smile burst on your face? Do you remember how amazing it was? That little person you love so much was able to express in words that they loved you also with a simple gift of "ma-ma"/ "da-da".
These tender milestones help make the sleepless nights, gassy tummies, feedings round the clock, piles of stinky diapers, saggy body, and more all worth it. All those things that you wish could not be part of the journey of having a child melts away in that moment. And nothing else matters but the gift of the moment.
Most of you know we have 5 children. I have been blessed 5 times in hearing those precious first words. But I was also blessed a 6th time. It didn't come with diapers, gas, or stretch marks . But it did come with sleepless nights, worries, giving up privacy, and so many other bumps in the road that make you trip and stumble and will continue to do so. But in those moments it all melted away. And my face burst with a smile. Joy was jumping up from my heart and my eyes in the form of tiny tears, and it was amazing! They may not have been her first words, and I probably wouldn't have understood them as sweet as I am sure they were. They were a treasure for another woman's heart at a time in life when things were different. But they were our first words.
I got to talk on the phone and video chat with my daughter for the first time this past January. And this is Nephtali saying those words I was so blessed to hear and can't wait to hear all the time.