A new baby can bring great joy. It is a miracle. We have participated in the process of creation. A new life brings new hope. So many happy times to look forward to: baby's first tooth, baby's first word, and when you hear "mama" for the first time.
This is also a life-changing time for the mother and for the father. The mother may have new status in the wider family and community; the father has new responsibilities; their relationship can gain a new depth and commitment.
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I hear babies cry
I watch them grow...
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world.
Have you ever noticed how a mother and a new baby become the centre of attention everywhere they go? Friends, colleagues, aunties and uncles, even neighbours and distant relations all want to gather round and say "Ahhh". Suddenly everyone is buying or making new baby clothes or passing on things other babies have grown out of. People all want to know how how well you are, and how is the baby doing. It can sometimes feel a bit overwhelming! The little baby can never know how much love welcomed its arrival in the world.
This is a time of celebration for everyone. This is a time for everyone to remember their obligation to all children everywhere, to take good care of them, guard them from all harm, nurture them, guide them and honour them. We all need to be reminded of that from time to time.
A simple welcoming or naming ceremony can take place at home or in the open air, in a civic building or a village hall. Wherever it takes place it will be an occasion to treasure for the rest of your life.