The tiny hand grips his finger as tight as it can and Robert cannot recall ever being so afraid. This tiny creature in his arms terrifies him more than any challenge he has ever undertaken. For ten years he and Lynn tried so hard to be parents. They knew, right out of grad school that they wanted a family. For a decade they dealt with the heartache of fertility clinics, special diets, and other seemingly hopeless regimens until finally it happened.
Now that she is here Robert does not know what to make of little Celia Rose. She is tiny, soft, and fragile and her father is so worried he does not have what it takes to prepare her for a cold, harsh and often cruel world. “What if I fail” keeps sneaking into his thoughts as do the myriad consequences for this brand new human being he cradles. His mind tells him that he and Lynn have made a terrible mistake. He thinks of their college friends who have children starting middle school, and how so many of them seem so unhappy.
Then he remembers his first bike ride and the look on his father’s face. He remembers his mother beaming at his first recital. He recalls the happy tears on both of their faces when he walked across that stage to accept his diploma. Robert thinks about his brother-in-law, and the love in his eyes when he plays with his children. He looks down at the wrinkled, little face peeking out from her bundle and for a moment the doubts melt away.
Robert knows they are not gone. He and Lynn have guaranteed themselves two decades or more of worrying. They may fail, but then again, they may not. He has no idea what the future holds for him, Lynn, or little Celia Rose, and he knows he can never dispel this fear. He does understand, though, that if he wants to smile at her first bike ride, to cry at her first recital, that he owes his daughter the courage to get past those fears. He kisses her forehead, promising to find that courage, and to give her the best life he can.
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- Preparing Your Older Children for a New Baby (pregnancy.answers.com)
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