She doesn’t have the strength to lift a tissue.
She’s as helpless as a bug floating out to sea.
And yet, she’s one of the most powerful human beings I’ve ever met.
Little seven pound Lenny Grace Jones has knocked this man right to his knees.
It’s been a long time since I’ve thought about my capacity to love. It’s been almost thirty years since my first-born came into the world. The moment his little blue eyes tried to bring my astonished face into focus, I was floating in an ocean of adoration. Love consumed every square inch of heart, bones, muscle, and tissue.
That’s it, I thought. I’m out. All of my love is taken. I don’t have any left.
Then along came my second child.
And my love doubled.
Then a third.
And it quadrupled.
I’m not sure how it happened. A heart bursting with complete and total adulation somehow found room for more. I didn’t have to pry a hunk of love away from my son in order to provide some for my daughters. God helped me tap into an unknown and yet amazing resource.
Once again, I thought I’d reached my maximum output for love.
Now comes Lil’ Lenny Grace Jones. She fits perfectly beneath my neck, resting on the palm of my left hand, her tiny heart beating against mine. I know that it’s a perfect fit because I kept her there most of last weekend. Her mom, my middle child, had a difficult time prying her away from me for seemingly important events like nursing and diaper changes. Everything is right with the world when I can feel her tiny breath. I feel like a piece of me has been ripped away when I’m not with her.
This is what it’s like to be a grandfather. It’s amazing.
I’ve helped create a human being who created another human being.
There is no math or science that will explain why my ticker beats with new enthusiasm every time I look into the deep blue eyes of this miniature human. I’m absolutely astounded by what my old heart can do. It’s as if I’m now a bottomless well that not only overflows with love for my Lil’ Lenny, but I’ve found a way to love my wife and children even more.
She can barely open her eyes, but that vulnerable, sweet little girl has the power to change a man.
She has changed me.
Two days after she was born, as I was sitting in my kitchen missing her, I opened my Bible and read from the book of Proverbs:
Children’s children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children.
Sometimes, I think of myself as a tired old man who has lost his purpose. But love is good. Love is energy. Lil’ Lenny has helped me find new purpose and power. While it might seem like a stretch to give that kind of credit to a person totally lacking in awareness, it is true. She fills my gas tank with excitement and joy as I make the four-hour drive to see her.
Love is not a storage shed with limited room.
It’s not a bank account that runs empty.
Love is abundant. It is powerful.
I have no doubt that someday Lenny will become a big sister and a cousin. My grandfatherly duties will grow. I don’t have to worry about wrestling love away from Lil’ Lenny in order to provide equal amounts of adoration to future members of our family. My bottomless well of love will flow even stronger.
There are exciting times to come. I’ll get to relive the excitement of first steps, first words, the first birthday. I still need a name. “Jammy” is the leading contender, but ultimately it’s up to Lil’ Lenny.
As tender as a butterfly.
Welcome Lenny Grace Jones, the newest little human to teach me all about my capacity to love.
What an amazing gift.