Birth Day

Here’s the thing about being pregnant: you just don’t know. Forty weeks, give or take a few (generally), is a long time to wonder, who’s this little baby, anyway?

When my first daughter was born — after a long labor that eventually terminated in a caesarian — the obstetrician held her up in his gloved hands. My first reaction was immediate familiarity: I knew this baby. And that was just the beginning of World with Molly.

From the beginning — with birth’s blood — raising kids often seems like surprise after surprise: oh, you can nurse? you can walk? you can ride a bicycle? make me laugh? make me stay awake all night, worrying about you?

If parenting has taught me one thing, it’s how precious little I know — save, perhaps, the world is unimaginable without our kids.

Whatever else is unsure in this stinking dunghill of a world a mother’s love is not.

— James Joyce, Portrait of an Artist

IMG_7129

 

The Day Before The Birth Day

Exactly 12 years ago on May 30, I was standing very pregnant at the bottom of our driveway, and about a dozen ATVs roared by, excessively fast and noisy. Within me, my baby abruptly flipped, and I pressed my hands over this baby I had yet to meet, face-to-face. The next morning, we saw each other, tiny girl infant and me.

I always think of that moment as the first time I held and comforted this daughter, wrapped my hands around her, loving her, the first time I began to know this child was mine, small being who would spend her first years in our arms.

…the poem at the end of the world
is the poem the little girl breathes
into her pillow
…this poem
is a political poem is a war poem is a
universal poem but is not about
these things this poem
is about one human heart this poem
is the poem at the end of the world

– Lucille Clifton

FullSizeRender.jpg