We received the gift of a new grandchild last week, our tenth. You might think it gets to be familiar but it doesn't -- each time, each grandchild is a thrill, and watching our kids become parents is an incredible blessing.
It's a privilege to celebrate with our kids as they add to their family. How do you celebrate a new baby?
Here are some ideas:
* Be there if you are welcome. Don't underestimate the value of your presence. On the other hand if your kids make it clear that they would like privacy, give them that, too.
* When it comes to gifts, think about what will bring joy to your kids. Do they enjoy fresh flowers or a planter from the florist? Flowers from your garden? Or maybe a freshly baked pie?
* If you bring something for the new baby, try to make it something they need, or something that will make them smile. We try to bring something the baby needs -- clothes, blankets, diapers, but we've also taken the dresses our daughters wore home from the hospital to our daughters when they've given birth to their first daughters, and we've taken the photograph of our new-born son taken in the hospital as a gift when he celebrated the birth of his son.
* Consider the gift of a book for the baby -- a book is always a good gift.
* Another good gift is a CD of music for the baby -- lullabies, or quiet classical music, or a mix of your favorite kid songs.
* Celebrate with a special meal with the new family. Fix it yourself, carry it in from your favorite restaurant (not fast food!) or give the new parents a gift certificate to their favorite restaurant.
* Let the new parents see your joy and affirmation.
* If you go to help when a new baby is born, do the dishes, the laundry, and the sweeping up -- let the new parents take care of the baby!
* Thank God together for the blessing of new life.
How do you celebrate?