"You may find yourself behind the wheel of a large automo-minivan,
You may find yourself in a beautiful house, with a beautiful fam'ly,
You may ask yourself, well, how did I get here?"
A Capital-C Confession: Once, I wanted to have a child because I longed for my mom to take delight in something I had done, someone I had made. I wanted my parents to love me and nurture me, and maybe they would care deeply for me like I'd always hoped if I had a baby. Was this healthy, and did I admit it to myself at the time? Not remotely. But I did, we did; we had three children.
They are exquisite. And much of the time, I can't imagine how any of them actually came to be. I am not talking about sperm and egg, friends. I am talking about longing for someone who is yet to be, hoping for someone who isn't here yet, wanting someones, and these people actually coming true.
The gratitude I've felt lately doesn't have words, especially since I was such an undeserving asshole in the first place for trying to fill an unexamined void with innocent human beings. And so, the usual platitudes like "children are precious" and "children are a blessing" are almost irritating in that they are so inadequate.
My astounded gratitude takes the amorphous "shape" of what the Double Rainbow Man might try to express if he saw a triple 'bow (and wasn't wacked out on wacky tobaccy). Or Kate Farrell's unclassifiable but universal imagery in anticipation of her wedding:
"The Cosmos was Laughing with Lasting Love and Light".
Lasting love and light? It is only in ourselves, and we can't find it when we project it onto babies. But still, I found something better than what I was hoping for all those years. I figured out how to love people other than sad, needy self-absorbed me (not that needy, self-absorbed me didn't deserve love, but this was no longer my only goal). Some days I am more successful at demonstrating this love to my kids than others, but most of the time, I make good work of mothering them. And I figured out how to accept, along a dynamic, grief-filled path, the regrettable fact that my parents will never love me the way I had needed as a baby, as a child, or as a young adult. The latter realization wasn't from the kids, directly, but has come from therapy and lots of work and searching that was inspired by them. This is the miracle--the goddamned miracle!--I am talking about.
Same as it ever was.