Spring has sprung and new life is everywhere. Fresh, grass - bright green and soft - pops up right in the middle of the coarse grass made dry and brittle by winter. Flowers, once ugly, flaky bulbs, break through crusty soil and burst into color accompanied by the hum of bees and impromptu butterfly dances. New life has also emerged in the home of my sister and brother-in-law!
On Thursday, March 16th at 1:51 pm, Quint Owen Henricksen leapt into the world. At birth he weighed 7 lbs. 8 oz. and was 21 1/4 inches long. Here he is on his first day of life:
I mean "Quint leapt" literally. Janis was in active labor for about 3 hours. That's really quick for a first-time mother. Her friend expressed it perfectly: "Janis is the most efficient person I know - even in child birth!" Too true. Her make-up wasn't even smudged when it was all over. Big sisters - do they ever cease to be amazing?
Let me tell you a little about my brand new nephew. Quint's current goal in life is to live in a constant state of nursing. If he's awake, there better be some milk coming soon. And if he's asleep, well, it's only a matter of time until he realizes that someone snuck away with his source of nourishment and insists that the situation be rectified. Sometimes he's content to suck on our fingertips - maybe he's just suckling for comfort - but it isn't long before he decides he's not getting enough return for his work.
That's when he starts making funny faces. This is my favorite time to hold him - in that sleepy stage right before he demands Mommy's attention. His entire chin quivers, he lifts his eyebrows way up, cranes his wrinkly new-born neck, and his whole face contorts as he tries to suck invisible nipples in the air. Then he snuggles deeper in his swaddling cloth and drops back to sleep for a minute, only to begin the funny-face cycle again a couple of minutes later. When he's sleeping, it's all I can do to suppress the urge to nuzzle my nose up against his tiny one. I've never had irresistible "Eskimo kiss" impulses before, but I guess this is a week for firsts!
Infancy: what an upside-down stage of life! Everyone applauds your every bodily function. "What a good boy!" (I've never seen Janis happier about gas and excrement. Quint, you might want to remind her about that when you hit middle school.) You get fed on command and sleep anytime you want. If you so much as blink at a bright light, everyone admires how intelligent you clearly are. Live it up, Quint.
My parents will be here in a matter of minutes. They started driving from Atlanta to Austin yesterday evening to meet their first grandchild. I can't wait to see them as grandparents! More on that later...