Thank you, women who are mothers! You have sheltered human beings within yourselves in a unique experience of joy and travail. This experience makes you become God's own smile upon the newborn child, the one who guides your child's first steps, who helps it to grow, and who is the anchor as the child makes its way along the journey of life.
-Pope John Paul II, Letter to Women
I read that quote from Blessed Pope John Paul every morning while saying my morning prayers. I think of those words as I look down at Pete while he is nursing. And I smile at him. He'll stop sucking, think for a moment, and then smile back. Joy. Pure joy. He has been smiling for the past few weeks now, and I can't think of anything more fulfilling than for a mother to see her child smile back at her for the first time.