November 30, 2009 at 5:00 am 2 comments

Oh how we love them.

Surprise babies, late in life babies, babies in bellies.

In my early twenties I volunteered at an Alzheimer’s Ward, spending time with the residents and drawing their portraits. The only instruction I was given by the staff was: do not utter the word baby. That word sent folks into a high emotional state, caused an elderly ruckus of sorts. And now, ten years later, I fully understand.

Babies cause emotion.

I went to a baby shower for our dear friend Gabe today. We ate food, praised the GODDESS that is our midwife, and shared birth stories. Even birth stories twenty years old were able to draw intense feelings and teary eyes.

It was a strange day for me because, though surrounded by babies and talk of babies, I was without one. At the last minute Echo had opted to stay home and play with her papa and her sisters. I can count on one hand how many times I have been away from her, for any duration longer than an hour, in the twenty nine months of her life. I felt strangely empty handed, light of body, though I was FAST. I made it to the celebration in record time. When it was time for me to leave, the process took two minutes because I only had to put on a coat. I did not have to convince my child to exit. I did not have to coax her shoes onto her feet, or negotiate anything.

Then I returned home to an empty house. They were running errands, dropping off sisters, making a stop at the carousel, and were not home. I did not relish the solitude. I had already been gone three hours and was ready to see my girl. I grabbed the dog leash and started walking, thinking I could somehow meet them on their way home, climb into the van with them, shave minutes off my separation. Then Nathan called to say they were arriving home, I was still blocks away, so

I RAN and RAN and RAN.

Puffy coat. Dog leash whipping me in the face. I ran as fast as I could until I reached our driveway, grabbed the door of the van, and flung it wide to get to my baby.

Babies cause emotion.

Echo was happy to see me, sure, but certainly not traumatized. She had been out in the world with her big, safe, papa. She had been having experiences, living life, saying things, hearing things, things I had no notion of. So strange for me, perfectly normal and fun for her. I thought of all of you, mamas and papas, that must spend time away from your baby when you’d rather not and I have so much empathy for you.

Oh sweet babies. The joy that you bring. And also the sorrow, because to love something to this degree brings it’s own painful compliment.

Thank you, babies, for this emotional adventure, for this chance to feel so intensely.



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he loves… inventory

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. fillydesigns  |  November 30, 2009 at 11:13 am

    I just dropped Bello off at the vet to have worrisome lumps checked. I cried suddenly after reading your post and realized I was carrying a lot of fear for his health. Babies, in all their shapes and textures, are quite an undertaking. There is so much love and connection to be had but you also take on the certainty of separation. What a powerful opportunity to practice feeling and letting go- not holding on to any particular moment, stage, phase in their precious life.

  • 2. kris  |  November 30, 2009 at 8:47 pm

    yes. the holding on and the letting go. to love so deeply, deeper and more than you ever have or ever will in your entire life about anything, knowing that it is supposed to end in separation. it is intense indeed. beautifully, perfectly intense.


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