Our daughter just turned five. Amazing how impossible it seemed to start our life with her in a new place. It can still be daunting, but there is boundless encouragement and tangles of fun. ~
A seed in the dark, a wonder, “Could I do this? Is it impossible or not?”
Good questions always prompt. Doubt. Anxiety. Raised eyebrow, soul lifting, ears ready for even the faintest whiff of wisdom. Everything is at first, in its essence, a seed. Even the herculean, colossal idea with its high likelihood of pain. The creepy, bad things, the shadowy scares of fear come in, too; everything at first is just a seed.
Is it crazy to have a baby abroad, away from the family, the trundles of usual, normal, same I’m accustomed to seeing in movies and with friends? I did it, twice. I say Love made room; the hearts and tiny toes and even smaller toenails of just-born babes made space. The worries and doubts, I kicked out looooong before contractions.
But how do you decide to send out roots when there is still much longing for the original space, the place you had lived? I missed my mom! Was it treachery to make my life go on? To become a mother gathering a holding a new kind of love song? That’s how I felt and it rattled me deep! “How can I be responsible for a baby when I can barely communicate?” This was the thought that plagued me like some terrible snapping turtle.
Yet. Lullabies make the heart stronger, not just quiet. Not just sleepy. A new kind of awake. I sang to my girl while she was still forming, cocooned in my womb. I hugged her, wrote that girl lovenotes in my journal, whistled show tunes and spirituals. A new kind of depending formed as I grew as a mother. I folded strong words into the soft folds of song. Psalms, poetry, Ella, Graceland, and my own, original poetry sprouted again. Life is a song of transition. I grew us ready for change.
My husband and I now have two children. I birthed my girl and discovered that sending down roots here, starting a family, connected us greater to the roots of my family, to faith, to precious passing-down of generous characteristics and features, everything special from an eternity that is a family tree. I love to gaze into my children’s faces, lean into their voices, and just marvel at the work of our branches joining. They are more than I could have dreamed. It is more than glorious to have made a life and decided against temperance. I think summoning up the faith to have children was the start of a new kind of peace. For as long as I am here. For as long as I have life, I’ll sing. I’ll invest myself in aprons and bedtimes reading and duo opera singing on our bike on the way to the fish shop and stop for some plums.
Every good and perfect gift has a place and a home. This is nothing but Miracle, Absolution, the purest of romance–us continuing to build, with our all, with the wind of the Spirit, a life that blesses.
So, “arigato” to my girl. To G-d who has blessed us.
There is honey, there is fun with you, dear. There is combing silken hair and us holding hands from your top bunk to the bottom. Thank you for stretching. Thank you for being. Thanks to the L-rd for all this gratefulness. I am smitten.
This is a shot through the lens of adoration and daily amazement at who she is, a life with G-d’s sweet Spirit, a thoughtful and daring Sassy Pants who is always in fashion, ballet, and verve. Happy Five!
My experience of birth in Japan!! My contribution to an INCREDIBLE series!
More writing on birth, a post from this blog