My wife and newborn son saw snow for the first time today.

Well, my wife did for sure. My son is so new to the outside world that what he saw probably looked more like a Mark Rothko painting than like this photograph. But I’d like to think that today the world looked fresh and new to him too, no matter the shape it took.

The wish to pass a warm and bright personality and worldview to our child is behind a lot of what we’ve instinctively done as parents, from dressing him in clothes and blankets with cute animal designs to talking musically to warming the wipes to embracing him whenever he cries. With our son totally dependent on us, sweetly meeting his needs and teaching him how to smile feels beyond a doubt like what’s best for his development–and for our own. In the midst of this year’s apparent unraveling of the outside world, giving him a stable, loving, warm environment from his conception til now has been a numinous experience.

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