My husband and I had dinner with my brother and sister-in-law tonight. We got to see our newborn niece for the first time in almost a month.

I always forget how much energy it takes to simply hold a child. Vivian got fussy, so I carried her around the house, rocking her in my arms and talking to her softly. I watched her watch things; if we stood still, she’d get upset. She wanted to explore, to see. After twenty minutes or so, my arms started to ache, and she began to drift into a nap. Gradually she lost the fight with her eyelids – those tiny little eyelids, fringed with her wispy lashes.

Sometimes I wonder about motherhood. I want to have children, but part of me is fearful. I wonder how much I’ll have to sacrifice, or for how long. I want to be present and active in our children’s lives, but sometimes I think people forget that mothers already had an entire life before they became mothers. How will I handle the stress? The exhaustion? I wonder how much my life will change.

But then I remember holding Vivian on the day she was born. So tiny, so delicate, so small that it was difficult to believe she was a human being, and a human soul. A human soul that did not exist until nine months earlier. As I held her on my lap tonight, I brushed my face in her thin, soft hair. I smelled her skin. She’s already grown so much, but while she’s fiery, she’s still fragile. She needs to be cherished.

And I don’t wonder anymore. I just know.

Great are You, O Lord, and wondrous are Your works, and no word will suffice to hymn Your wonders. For by Your Will have You out of nothingness brought all things into being and by Your power sustain all creation and by Your Providence direct the world.