Wednesday, October 23, 2013
"Babies are bits of star-dust blown from the hand of God."
-- Larry Barretto
My friend Katie is pregnant with her first child. She's about halfway along and so amazingly cute.
She's as ready as a new mommy could ever be.
She is deeply loved by her husband. She is settled and confident and comfortable in her own skin.
She is a really terrific woman and I just know that her overflowing love, creativity, sense of fun and joie de vivre is going to combine like some secret recipe into one heck of a mom.
But...I can feel her worrying.
I can sense her unease.
She's on the cusp of something big and she knows it...never wanted anything more.
And it's all out of her control.
I tried to help her know that the worrying doesn't help.at.all.
I tried to get her to see that "whether or not it is clear to you, the universe is unfolding as it should."
(Thank you, Desiderata...all time favorite life poem.)
I have so so much to tell her.
I want her to know that loving that baby full tilt IS enough.
It will be what gets you through the dark nights of sickness, worry, anxiety or confusion.
There's no wrong way to love your baby.
You can use the technique of "attachment parenting" and wear your baby 24/7 or you can snuggle that baby whenever it works or you can let your baby snooze by itself in a cradle.
Your baby is still going to love you back...and here's a secret...she will love you back her way,
not yours...which will be stunning and magical and exactly the way you need to be loved.
This baby will humble you and shock you and exhaust you and fill your heart to this cosmic depth that you didn't even know existed.
You will look back on things you have loved: a dog, a friend, a job that feeds your soul and truly look down from a mountain top the size of Everest and realize that you were merely playing in the sandbox of life until this moment.
You will laugh your butt off...at the hilarious things you consent to do for this child of yours, the way your body becomes a contortionist, at the absurdity of radical sleep deprivation and yes...
you will cry huge heaving sobs of vulnerability, compassion for all mothers, heartbreak for mothers who must say good-by way too early and those who may never know this bliss...you will cry for your child's journey, no matter how blessed, because we want zero adversity for the ones we love and that, my darling friend, just isn't possible in this difficult world we find ourselves in...
adversity potholes are everywhere.
You will cry in her tiny magnificence and cry in his towering manhood and cry through awkward adolescence and all the funny, joy-filled, heart-breaking moments in between.
You will feel like an exposed nerve...
you will feel so deeply that the travails of life will seem so utterly discouraging and the joys of life so impossibly amazing that you will feel like you alone
(well, let's be honest, you've had a little help here)
have created a new and vibrant color that has never before been seen...
and you have!
It's all your own...well, let's include Bryan here too.
You get to define what family looks like.
You get to create traditions and sing funny songs and dance in the rain and try new foods and show someone what
honesty and gentleness and trust look like.
You get to pray and hope and comfort in the way you've always hoped.
Motherhood and familyhood and babyhood are just lingo for hanging out together for a real long time.
I hope more than anything you get to do just that.
Steep in wonder.
Relax into this beautiful place and know down deep that you are the exact perfect person to mother this baby of yours and that this is no random collection of cells...this, my friend, is a full-fledged miracle and you, my friend, are the apex of that miracle...
the starting point.
The Table of Contents and the Dedication Page and the first few chapters...
but, my sweet friend, you are only that.
Your baby gets the joy and privilege of living with you in your daily life for awhile,
a long while,
but the time will quickly come when she gets to search out her own adventures and loves and laughs.
And you will have to smile generously when her new adventure begins.
You will hope that you have given her enough love to last through the trials that you cannot comfort and pray that you have given enough hope to know that drenching rain always brings new growth -- that beautiful deep green of life.
You will trust that faith and wonder and love and the strength of family will be enough.
And it will be.
Love is a beautiful circle.
You are enough. It will all be just the way it should be.
Trust in the cosmic correctness of this moment in time.
Tonight I'm so grateful for my four beautiful, radiant, neon colors that brighten my world.
I can't wait to meet yours!