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‘A true miracle in our lives’

November 18, 2018

He looked at me, really looked at me, and smiled. He actually smiled! This was the first smile I ever saw from him, the small baby propped on my legs and my heart turned to mush.

Little G, I cooed, we’re going to do so much together! We’ll go to the lake with Grandpa Bip and Cousin Scotty will teach you to fish and Cousin Tyler will teach you to swim and we’ll all have lots of fun. That’s when the corners of his mouth turned up, leading the way to a full smile.

Is it gas, his grandpa, sitting on the couch next to me, asked? No, look, he’s doing it again, I said excitedly, eyes brimming.

Gabriel Jackson Flinn, only six weeks old that very day, was noticing the world around him and responding with joy.

Is there anything more affirming of life and goodness than a tiny baby’s smile?

Little G, also called Gabe (also Little Monkey), had just started becoming aware of where he was and interacting, his mom Sarah told us. We drove to their Brooklyn apartment last weekend because we just had to see how much our new grandson had grown in the three weeks since the last visit — half his life and two pounds and one inch later. Cuddle time beckoned.

On Sept. 29 Sarah’s sister Rebecca and I were there in the delivery room of a Manhattan hospital when Little G. came into the world at 3:53 a.m. Birthing is hard work. The umbilical cord was wrapped twice around his neck and once around his shoulder. The doctor quickly untangled him. Two nurses rubbed Gabe vigorously with a towel and his lungs soon announced his first taste of air.

“I have my baby! I have my baby!” Sarah exclaimed to the tiny being — just 6 pounds and 14 ounces — atop her. He was remarkably alert for his first moments on earth.

Words are inadequate to describe the emotions of a mother watching her child give birth. I will forever marvel at the experience.

Most Thanksgivings when our extended family gathers, we go around the table and say what we are thankful for that year. It makes us realize that even in times of struggle, there is something to be grateful for. We are together. And this year we have a new arrival.

On Thursday, someone is sure to say they are thankful to have Tyler home from the gridiron and his first semester at Endicott College. Tyler Davis is a Bethel High graduate, as are his Aunts Sarah and Rebecca. Scotty Davis is a sophomore at Bethel High this year and someone is sure to mention his grit on the football field.

In a few days, little Gabe and his extended family will gather around makeshift tables, with ceramic turkeys and pressed leaves, in our small Bethel ranch home. All the favorite dishes will cover every inch of the buffet, as always.

When Grandpa Bip clinks a glass, all will hush to hear toasts to our family growing. A true miracle in our lives.

Little G, you’ve given us so much to smile about already.

Editorial Page Editor Jacqueline Smith can be reached at jsmith@hearstmediact.com

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