This picture serves two purposes: 1) we can get cute-Julia-pic fix even when Trista isn't here, and 2) photo Friday.
Moments of grace. This is something I think about a lot. But let me back up.
I am afraid of babies. Always have been. And then I left Utah, my friends had one of these baby-creatures; and six months later, with much fear and excitement, I met her. And she was so beautiful. But on day one, we mostly eyed each other with curiosity and no small amount of suspicion, she with her small furrowed brow when she looked at me --and let me tell you, this expression can break your heart -- and I staring and smiling but too afraid to hold her very long.
Day 2: more smiles on her part, less fear on mine. I held her a little more. Talked to her a little bit. Made faces and noises and generally made a fool of myself, which is also how I get adults to like me.
And then. Day 3. This picture is Day 3. On Day 3, we became friends. In this picture, she is smiling at me. And I sort of fell in love with her.
Backing up some more, though. The day before my trip, my grandfather underwent a seven-hour surgery to remove a canerous lung. The procedure was supposed to take two hours, and was only supposed to remove one section of the lung; but there were complications, and by the time his surgery was over he was alive and full of other people's blood. I almost didn't take this trip to Utah, but I went because I was meeting with my thesis chairperson and my grandfather was relatively stable.
What I'm trying to say is that in the backdrop of this picture is worry and fear -- about my granfather, my thesis, graduation. But all we see is this happy child, and so the picture itself becomes a moment of grace, a sweet spot tied up in those memories. The trip itself -- staying with good friends -- was a moment of grace as well in the midst of all of that worry. Holding my grandfather's hand in the hospital, walking in the park with a kind professor, finally not being (that) afraid of a baby -- all of these things remind me to be thankful for the gifts I've received.