moved

March 20, 2010 at 8:33 pm 3 comments

Our friends, who have so graciously lent us the use of their garage-top apartment, welcomed a baby daughter into the world yesterday morning. A birth, it happens every single day, thousands of times. I’ve even heard that a baby is born, somewhere in the world, with every inhalation, but somehow every single time, it is the most wondrous event.

I live in their backyard, so happened to have the luck of arriving on the scene just after the sweet girl was born. Our cats were meowing their heads off, and I finally rose to let them out when I saw the front house with every window ablaze with light. I ran across the yard to see if I could help but was welcomed into the bedroom instead to see mother and baby already nestled cozily in bed. Grandparents from both sides were present, as well as a sister, another sister on speakerphone, a husband, and a midwife. The lamplight was low, and warm like honey. It was a magical sight.

And the magic continues. For two days now more family members have continued to gather. And this isn’t the kind of jostling, take over the house with rambunctious chatter type of crowd. They simply gather. In fact, sometimes no one talks at all. It’s as though they are here to merely witness a profound event. I can’t help but see it as empathy in physical form. By the presence of their bodies and warm faces they are saying: Wow. We see you baby, and mom. Something really important has just happened.

As an outsider, I am completely moved. Not only by a beautiful baby, (and she really is beautiful), but by the family. My god that family. The warm lamplight, the steady flow of aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, and the stillness- no one is rushing around tidying up, making small talk, laughing nervously, or pushing food on anyone. Finding this scene so intriguing, I heard my mind saying: I want to have a baby! But, then I remembered that I don’t. My relationship with Echo is still very mama/baby and my heart and mind don’t yet have room for thoughts of another. So then my mind said: Well… a baby when I’m ready, but I definitely want to give birth surrounded by my family this time. And then I also remembered that I don’t want that either. To have my extended family gathered in one small room is to invite major drama. There are politics involved, and heavy history to navigate, that’s not what I want to surround myself with when giving birth.

So I began to twist myself up about it all. Searching for some way to somehow alter my own life to better mirror what I had seen. Thankfully my waking, thinking mind, stepped in to say: Easy now. I simply like what I have seen. Nothing more. I can stop trying to recreate it for myself. Stop looking to fix anything. I can simply witness, just like the family members I have been observing. Something beautiful is happening and I will be a better person for having been able to see it. That’s it.

And then I felt better.

And I am better. I now have this image in my mind, an image of love, confidence, and health, an image of family at its very best.

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Entry filed under: empathy. Tags: , , , .

buttface mamas in training

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Ivy  |  March 20, 2010 at 9:40 pm

    It sounds lovely. Thank you for sharing that with us.

    Reply
  • 2. Krista  |  March 20, 2010 at 10:17 pm

    This helps me so much. I get caught up in thoughts that I need to alter, recreate, be like, have like…. daily. This is so, so helpful to hear. I am in awe, also, of how you manage to talk to yourself this way.

    “Easy now. I simply like what I have seen. Nothing more. I can stop trying to recreate it for myself. Stop looking to fix anything. I can simply witness, just like the family members I have been observing. Something beautiful is happening and I will be a better person for having been able to see it. That’s it.”

    So very wise.

    Reply
  • 3. Maryam  |  March 22, 2010 at 3:12 pm

    i love these thoughts on the power of seeing, of noticing, and appreciating. thank you.

    Reply

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