Saturday, December 10, 2011
one amazing thing
I just read a book by this title.
(it was a good book to read)
But it got me thinking about the year 2008, and how wonderful it is for me to go back and read this blog because so much of my life and my children and my thoughts are captured.
It made me think about how every day, there are many amazing things that happen.
One amazing thing was sitting on the couch, with our beautifully lit Christmas tree to my right, looking out the window to my left at cotton-candy clouds kissed pink by a glowing sunrise. It was seven o'clock, just dawn here as the shortest day looms less than two weeks away. The sky behind the clouds was a deep purplish grey. The two older children were playing together (and they were not fighting, not even a little, because sometimes they do that) and I had Maeve curled in my left arm, nursing, and Fiona curled beside me on the couch on the right side, nursing as well. I was wearing my big, fluffy fleece bathrobe, and the house was warm, and it was delicious.
That was a moment that could have been nothing, that could have been forgotten by morning tomorrow. But now, I will remember it. It was me alone with my four living children, everyone happy, while the sun came up over our corner of the world.
While I'm writing, I will share something with you that rocked me a little. I was in the shower yesterday pondering the amazing truth that I have four daughters and one son. Four seems like a lot of daughters for one person to have, it's getting on towards a collection of girls when you get that high, although of course three is a pretty normal amount of girls which is all a person can actually see of our family. But in the context of my considering the number of daughters I have, I stumbled upon a memory I hadn't picked out of the box in a while and it is this:
She is lying in my arms, her head in the crook of my left elbow, and she's just been born. I am dizzy with the overwhelming and surprising overlap of two, seemingly opposite emotions: intense, incredible joy at the little baby in my arms, paired with a haunting, suffocating grief I have never before felt in my life. I'm crying for the wonder and disbelief of the child I have created and grown and birthed and for the tragedy that will tear her from my arms in a quarter day's time. Through my tears, I gently move her tiny leg to the side and see that she is a girl child.
I look at my husband's face and I say to him, she's a little girl, we have a daughter.
Something about that word, daughter, sears it on my heart as the thing I will covet most: daughter. With the word daughter becoming mine, in turn I seize also the word mother, the word parent, the piece of my soul I have always meant to be the most important.
I used to think about that moment every single day, maybe 50 times. It was a part of the story I repeated to myself again and again: we have a daughter, we have a daughter, we have a daughter.
And now, in the process of collecting more of those precious, irreplaceable daughters for our amazing family, I have forgotten to think about this moment in time quite so often.
Just another one of those things that changes.