I distinctly remember holding my daughter when she was just hours old. It was in the wee hours of the morning and she was sleeping soundly, but I took her tiny, warm body out of the hospital cradle and into my arms. She stirred a little, making those precious newborn sounds, opened her eyes and looked deep into mine. Our eyes locked, our souls connected– this baby, I knew, was an old soul.
In 2003 when she was born, I wasn’t nearly as spiritual or insightful as I am now. I was only 23, after all! But at the core of my being, I knew this beautiful newborn baby had wisdom beyond her years (or, in this case, hours).
As the years have gone by, I’ve been told by a few people that my daughter and I have a soul connection or agreement of some sort. Of that I have no doubt. Our story is not traditional – I’m not raising her, she lives with her two dads and sister. But as time goes by and physical distance between us grows, I know with more conviction that this beautiful girl and I have a connection that transcends all boundaries.
Yesterday my best friend was telling me about a precious 2-week old baby she saw in the park. This little baby girl was lying on a blanket looking around and exploring her world as if to say, “Who are you and what am I doing here?” Her eyes were glazed over and she looked a bit confused. Anyone who’s ever looked into the eyes of a newborn knows that look they give. That inquisitive gaze, as if they are somewhat shell-shocked, somewhere in between the spiritual world and our physical one, just making the transition from one plane to the next. Some may think that newborns are born blank slates but the truth is, their souls are sometimes older than our own. Their connection with the Other Side is so very close.
A newborn is soul in a new material body and is just on loan to us – her parents, family, the collective human species. During a child’s lifetime there are many lessons to be learned, beginning from Day 1: from the parent to the child and also from the child back to the parent. Some of these lessons are very difficult, but we choose these lessons because we need them for our own spiritual growth and also for the child.
The most we can do is love our children for who they are and not try to make them our ‘possession’ or live vicariously through them like so many parents do. I will remember this on my voyage as a long-distance ‘parent’ as well as a day-to-day Mom one day. And the next time I look into the eyes of a newborn, I’ll be sure to connect with them on a soul level – it’s so easy, so magical, so pure and just downright awesome.