I recall my father-in-law telling me the day my son was born that Benjamin, my son, was “one lucky baby.” He repeated the same comment after our daughter was born three years later. This comment has stayed with me til this day. I am sure his sentiment was sincerely meant but not very memorable for him; for me, however, it seemed life changing. I was an insecure new parent full of fear and doubt. I had a medical degree and four years of pediatric training and knew how to take care of children with complex metabolic problems or severe trauma, but regular parenting stuff–not a clue. I must have desperately needed to hear that an elder who I respected had confidence that I could handle all the parenting challenges the future had in store for my wife and me. I needed to hear this seasoned voice telling me that not only could I be a successful parent, but also that my child was actually lucky to get the parents he did. To me, this was like winning a Nobel Prize or becoming the Surgeon General. His comment was the perfect thing to say; I needed to hear his vote of confidence at that moment, and my father-in-law was smart enough to know it.
I am reminded of all this because my wonderful nurse assistant, Nikki, had her baby boy last week, and I couldn’t help but sense how lucky a child he is to have such wonderful parents. I have only known Nikki for a little more than a year, and already I have gotten to witness her wedding, her first day of work, her amazing growth in her job performance, her pregnancy, and now her first steps as a brand new parent. I recall hearing Dr. Brazelton, the famous pediatrician in Boston, saying that it takes many parents 9 months to” fall in love” with their new infant child; I think with Nikki it took about 9 milliseconds. I have no doubt that her son is “0ne lucky baby!” Congratulations to her and all new parents.