With almost 7 billion people in the world, I’m realistic enough to recognize that birth is not unique. But no matter what angle you experience it from, mother, father or brand new person, it is, indeed, still wondrous. From a miniscule speck of star matter (isn’t everything just a speck of star matter, after all), and a breath from God’s lips, life emerges. We’re born, all of us the same miracle; Einstein, Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King, Ghandi, Sean Connery and Lady Gaga (I honestly am not sure about PeeWee Herman). Whether you believe in a Supreme Being or Evolution, nothing at all or a mixture of both, it would be (or it should be) hard to argue against the thought that each of us has a purpose on this earth, and in that, we’re each a miracle.
You want to argue it? Okay….. just watch a pair of new parents with their infant, with nothing other than birth between the three of them at that moment, you will see a room full of awareness, clarity and emotion. You may think you’ve loved before, you may think you’ve had responsibility before, you may even think you know exactly what your purpose in life was, is and always will be, and then…………….. bam…… it hits you between your eyes. It doesn’t matter how many times it happens, one child, two, nineteen (yeah, I’ve been known to catch an episode), it hits you, this is life… and each life is a miracle…. and in that, each miracle is it’s own purpose.
I’m also realistic to understand that not everyone has a “perfect” world and every birth is not heralded with the same joy, at that moment, in that room, in those lives. I would still argue that the purpose exists; we don’t know what it is, we don’t know the learning experiences, the growing experiences, the life experiences that everyone involved will undergo because of that birth, that infant, that person, that unique miracle but we do know, and should acknowledge, the miracle of that birth, the life ahead of everyone at that moment and therein lies their opportunity, whether God-given or individually driven.
I’ve been thinking a lot about birth, about life, lately.
Today, my youngest is 24 years old. She is married, educated, beautiful, goal-driven and glorious. She informed me last week, that her beloved blankie is now residing in a dresser drawer, no longer under her pillow or in her bag as she travels. Believe it or not, I felt an overwhelming sense of sadness at that moment. Sitting at work, in front of my computer, I got teary (that’s not unusual, I actually can cry at a drop of a hat these days…. that hormonal menopause thing). I wasn’t unhappy, nor was I surprised… she’s 24, studying for her CPA exam…. talking of her own babies in the next few years…. I knew it was going to happen, I knew they wouldn’t allow blankie to accompany her into the delivery room! But there was sadness.
When she was getting married, I recognized that feeling for the first time. Along with the perfect joy, there was the realization that it was the end of an era. We had reached the turning of the page; there was no longer the ability for do-overs. She was moving into my role, wife and someday, mother. All of the things that I wanted to make up to her as a child, the things I did wrong, the things I didn’t do, the things I didn’t teach or show her, would go undone, because the time for do-overs was gone. We could only move forward now as we embraced her new role, and found our own new roles in her life.
Now, there is another end of an era. She no longer needs blankie to fall asleep; her last bastion of childhood is left behind as she embraces her future. She embraces her future, with each and every step, so beautifully, so sure and so determined.
I am so proud of her. Not for giving up blankie, but for taking each step forward with intent, goal…. with purpose; for being one of the most loyal, loving and spirited young women I’ve had the privilege of meeting.
Today, as she turns 24, I hope she realizes that the significance is not that she is one in 7 billion miracles, but that she is, in her own brilliance, a single miracle.
Happy Birthday, Boo.