Welcome to our World

This time of year, with the sound traveling farther through the bare-boned trees, we can hear the train whistle in our small bait-and-tackle store community and we can hear the horn at the dam when they open the turbines, as they send water down the river. We can hear our neighbors easier, too— the call of the dog-trainers, the music from the party at the Airbnb, the young brothers playing outside before dinner.

When I first got a phone as a teenager, my parents disconnected their landline and gave that number to my cell, so I could take the business calls. My number has our local area code and the first three digits of our small community. It is listed in the tiny phone book we still get every year in the mail, for this address. And so when people call they often assume I am home still, the girl who is always there—the girl who never grew up, with the same young voice— a little sweet (strange?) spot of continuity in this fly-by world. Sometimes, a bit rudely, someone will say, “Oh! You’re still there?” I never correct them. Most of the time, anyway, they aren’t wrong. I am still here.

Our little boy was born at home in the early morning of December 10th, and perhaps we should have named him Moses, for he was drawn from the water and is a beautiful child. He is easy on me.

The labor was good and beautiful, and yet anything but easy. I found that being surrounded by those you love the most doesn’t by any means lessen the difficulty. In fact, to be so safe only invites into deeper levels of feeling. I would’ve never asked the unfamiliar obstetrician Why does it hurt so much? but I was able to ask that of my friends. 

Their responses to me were as varied as their natures: one explaining what was happening to my body, one laughing, one busy making things just right, one telling me to buckle down and push, one’s face filling with concern— none of these better than the other. Together, the perfect provision of grace.

Jacob was born in a cattle trough, which wasn’t necessary, but we thought it would be a good part of his story. Every child loves to hear of their own entrance into the world and anything that makes it— them— extra special is significant. It was just a little something we could give him, a detail for delight when the story is told ‘round the campfire the night he turns ten.

A friend asked me today why I hadn’t written lately, and mostly it’s because motherhood feels largely covered— the craziness, the sacrifice, the honor, the messiness, the glory— it’s a season of sunsets. Everyone and their mother knows all about it, and all my words couldn’t compare to a single picture. And it’s also just so hard practically. At this moment I write with one hand and burp the baby with the other, holding him away from the toddler who is trying to smother him with kisses. She looks up at me curious, and stands very still as I read her all these words. She smiles and her look says it is good enough.

One thought on “Welcome to our World

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