I think that every parent, when anticipating a baby’s arrival, wonders what their baby’s personality will be like. While I could tell from the earliest photos of Elvie that she had a certain spark to her, there have been so many wonderful surprises. The first thing that surprised me was how incredibly happy she is most of the time. With her bumpy start to life and the many stressful medical situations she’s been through, you’d think she’d be a grumpy girl, and rightfully so. But she isn’t! And not only is she not grumpy, but despite how many people have poked an prodded her and done things that were unpleasant, she is still incredibly friendly to everyone. We can’t go anywhere without her trying to make friends with as many people as possible.
In this photo, she is smiling and clapping. What you can’t tell is that she is smiling and clapping at a woman across the street. She is so intent on making friends that she will do her best to catch the attention of a stranger from far away. And lucky for both of us, most of the strangers are happy to become friends.
I’ll admit that, as an introvert, sometimes I don’t love all the attention she attracts. There have been plenty of times that I have been ready to sit back and relax on the bus ride home, and she will start craning her neck, making eye contact, and waving at anyone who will respond. Some people just smile and wave back, but others like to start a conversation and ask more about the baby who is giggling and grinning their way. What I remind myself in those moments is that I am so glad that she is so joyful and that she is not afraid of new people, even with all she’s been through. I also recognize that the sunshine she brings to the lives of others makes a difference in their day. What day wouldn’t be brighter with a smile and a wave from an enthusiastic baby? Even the most curmudgeonly travelers eventually crack a smile.
It truly is a joy to see Elvie at work, doing what she does best. By being so friendly with everyone, she gives a little of the happiness she has to others, and I see their own spirits lift. I can already tell that life with Elvie will be filled with meeting people we might not have otherwise met. Her smile and wave will be the introduction, and that is truly a gift.