We are finally in Utah and living it up with the McIlleces. Lagoon, angry birds, lunch with my girlfriends, Harry Potter and playing the McIllece version of "Minute to Win It." But today was all about this little man.
This is baby Rock. He belongs to my sister April and is the newest member of the Nichols Family Tree. He is special in so many ways and has been a blessing to us from the minute he arrived in March. Today was the first time I have seen him and let me tell you, relative bias aside, he is one of the most beautiful babies I have ever seen. I snuggled him every chance I got this afternoon. Grandparents, a set of great-grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins converged on my sister's family today to bless baby Rock.
Let me step back a minute. My sister was about 3 months pregnant at my father's funeral last Fall. Later, we found out it was a baby boy. And because her last baby was delivered by c-section, they scheduled April's delivery date many weeks in advance. She called me after she had it scheduled--exactly 6 months after our father passed away, with no wiggle room. Now, April and her husband could have gone two ways with this. Poor baby Rock could have grown up knowing that every birthday would be tragically painful for his mother. Or they could use this date to celebrate the birth of this beautiful child and remember my father at the same time. So his name became James Rock. They call him Rock, but the James is after our father. Hearing it today in the blessing made me catch my breath, knowing that for the first time, my dad wasn't there to help bless one of his grandchildren. My father loved babies. And babies always loved him. So, today I can only imagine that six months my dad and Rock spent together in heaven and I know that Rock was born with his cheeks wet with my father's kisses.