Tuesday, June 7, 2011

twenty-one years ago today.

Twenty-one years ago today, Chuck was born.
Twenty-one years ago, on a mild weekday morning, with the wind blowing through an open window fluttering the curtains, in the old section of the University Hospital where the windows still opened. There in a small birthing room with a  hippie-nurse, the doctor (Susan Winkelmann) and his dad. He, my oldest child, came into the world. Squalling and purple and looking not unlike a big grape. "Isn't he beautiful?" The doctor asked, holding him up. Well, beautiful maybe wasn't a word I would have chosen, nonetheless she continued, "Do you want to cut the cord?" The answer from me being, no. While in my head the answer was, 'you have to be kidding me'. His dad, who looked like he was going to pass out, also declined cutting the cord, so the doctor did, wiping him briefly before laying him on my chest.

What is it about that strong mothering instinct, that mother-love. What is it that happens when a squalling, purplish mass is placed on one's chest and begins pinking up nicely and then, because the doctor and nurse are encouraging you, you begin feeding him and he, in an instant--though you knew him for months before his birth--becomes, yours. What was it that happened, where I, as a mother, felt that I would lay down my life for this child. When did it happen that his hurts became my hurts.  Where did the strength come from to care for him, to raise him and when the time came, to let him go?
Today I will see, not only him, but also, his son.
It is, already, a glorious day!

"If you have a mom, there is nowhere you are likely to go where prayer has not already been." Robert Brault

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