Embraced in Love

Dear Isaac,

Looking through your pictures I realized that most of the pictures we have of you include your sister.

In the beginning she’d sit on the couch and point to the space next to her. She always wanted to hold you and sit with you. She’d put her arm around you and hug you close. She’d kiss your face.

When we placed you in the bassinet your sister would want it to be as close to her as possible. She’d give you a toy. She’d kiss you. She’d smile and laugh with you.

Now you’re playing on the floor and rolling over. Your sister still wants to be near you. All the time. She plops down on the floor and wraps her arms around you. She gives you a toy and takes it away. She kisses you. She laughs. She pushes you back and forth so you roll over.

It seems that wherever you are, your sister is there with you.
She loves you.
We love you.
We love seeing you together.

What struck me when looking at your pictures is that you're never alone, unlike your sister’s baby pictures where she is generally by herself or being held by her parents.

Your sister and I have lots of pictures together.

But you, dear boy, our second baby, we have less pictures together and more photos of you wrapped in the embrace and loving arms of your sister.

And on this day, the day you’re 6 months old, that’s what I want you to remember: the embrace of love.

I offer to you, my son, a prayer that you’ll always know that embrace.

When you are afraid and lonely,
when the days are long and the nights are dark,
When you have lost your way,
When you can’t imagine taking one more step forward,
When you question where you’re going,
When you’re ashamed of where you’ve been,
When you’re stuck,
Remember you are embraced in love.

If there are days (and there will be days) that seem like hope is lost,
Feel the arms of love around you.

When you question your worth and gifts,
Know that those arms of love surround you.

When you’re about to embark on a new adventure,
Or you need to take a leap of faith,
Or you are called to speak truth to power,
Or you need to stand up against the crowd,
Remember those arms embracing you.

Remember those arms embracing you and share that love.

When you meet someone who is different from you,
Offer them that same embracing love.

When you serve your neighbor,
When you pray for difficult relationships,
When you feed the hungry,
When you offer a hand,
Share that embrace of love.

Remember, remember, remember.
You are embraced in love.

And when you remember that love, trust me, you won’t be able to do anything but share it.
Embracing your friends and family.
Embracing your neighbors.
Embracing the world.

We love because we have first been loved.

And do you know what you do when your sister’s hugging and kissing you?
Do you know what we see when your sister has her arms wrapped around you?

 We see your smile. Your love. Your joy. 

The gift of being loved.