How to describe the quiet joy?

The helpless life asleep in the crib.
She is perfect in her innocence
and I only in inexperience.

I was a child just yesterday,
not prepared in any way
to shape, prepare, teach, or form,
to be wise enough for this.

But I sense love will suffice,
be my teacher so I can be hers,
giving grace to erase the harm
from the mistakes I’m sure to make.

Ready or not, there’s a life to be lived
and she proves eager and smart,
loving and kind.
All she seems to require is my time
and putting her needs above mine.

She grows well, but much too fast.
Said by all it is no less true.
Then time becomes shared with younger ones,
the lessons changing for us both.

Our paths are never straight, are they?
Some curves more treacherous than others.
Avoiding the cliff is sometimes our best,
hanging on, hoping, waiting it out.

Years of protecting, teaching, and holding on
are poor preparation for letting go.
No harder though
than her next lesson,
that I am mere clay.

So, like a young falcon she is released
into a stormy sky.
Now life is her teacher,
not I.

But happy surprise, it is not the end.
The falcon returns, as they sometimes do.
Altered now we find our state.
Dad is still dad, but also friend.

How to describe the quiet joy?

Michael Massengill, 2017