Meet. Lucy. Is your heart melting like mine is? Lucy has made Whitney (my best friend since second grade) and Cole an official “family.” I’ve been counting down the days until her arrival, but I wasn’t ready for how much I was going to love her. I love her mama…and her daddy, and I knew she would be special to me…but it’s love. We didn’t have long together, she and I, but can you see how she bores into you with those eyes? She’s so alert; it’s startling. It’s like she takes you all in, immediately, and holds you prisoner. Then there’s her soft olive complexion, and those kissable lips, and those tee-ninetsy little feet, and that baby smell. I’m gone.You know how there’s some people you know, and then there are those few that you actually know even better than you know yourself–that’s Whitney to me. I would say that I am probably my worst self around her, and vice versa. You know why? Because she may be the only person (well, besides my family) that I feel ok to let my absolute self out with. You know the self that had a bad week and needs somebody else to absorb a bit of the blunt force trauma. She gets that from time to time. I did try to spare her that side this past visit…only because she was in a hospital bed 🙂 She’s one person who I know will tell me if the outfit I’m wearing looks atrocious or if I need an attitude adjustment (she is often one of my blog screeners :)). Although, she still hasn’t completely forgiven me for the time I dogged her brand new shoes, in a VERY loud voice, as she lay helpless in a chair, with hands stuck down her throat in the crowded orthodontist office in our home-town. Hehehe 🙂 But enough about us, this is about her. Little LucyThat afternoon, after I left the hospital on a joyful puff of air, I kept trying to figure out what exactly it was I was so happy–relieved even–about. I decided there were two main reasons. The first was the joy of seeing my best friend become a mom. As said before, because I know the good AND bad of Whitney, I’m gonna be honest and tell you there was a part of me that was nervous. I know how she likes her sleep (I was once literally clawed in college for trying to wake her), how she shies away from all things nasty (I always had to do her share of scooping horse poop at summer camp), and how pain is not something she deals with lightly (I think she took more trips to the campus nurse at Auburn than any other student. Sickness was not an option). So maybe (especially those of you who are moms already) you can see why I could love her and be scared for how childbirth/motherhood was going to settle with her. But y’all, as soon as I saw her with Lucy, I knew it was all going to be ok–better than ok–perfect. I just kept telling Whitney how proud I was of her, and I think she was sort of confused. But what I was trying to say was, “I was stupid to be worried. God made you just perfect for Lucy, and it’s beautiful to watch you fulfill this new role with grace and style all your own. Sorry my heart ever doubted friend.” The second reason I was so happy, came more slowly. For some reason the line from Shakespeare’s Sonnet 116 kept playing over and over in my mind, but I wasn’t sure why. It’s a love sonnet, as in romantic love sonnet, and while I love Lucy, I wasn’t sure that particular sonnet was appropriate. The line was this, “O no! It [love for those who haven’t read the rest of the poem] is an ever fixed mark/ That looks on tempests and is never shaken;/ It is the star to every wandering bark [ship],/ Whose worth’s unknown though its height be taken.”
As I watched Whitney and Cole, I think I saw Jeremiah and me after we had both of our girls. I was aware enough, then, to know that I felt like a “deer in headlights,” but I could not step out of my fear/love enough to see what I was truly experiencing. And that was it, the poem. After you hold the new little life, that God has miraculously trusted you with, for the first time you are bombarded with all the emotions that you do feel and all the ones you think you’re supposed to feel. In actuality, you don’t really know this new little person at all. You don’t know what they’ll look like, or enjoy; if they’ll be spunky or demure; if they’ll make you laugh more often than cry; and (more immediately) if they’ll let you sleep or keep you up all night…you just don’t know. It’s like the picture Shakespeare created of the boat. You’re out there, floating along in an unstable little craft. You can plot out schedules and make plans, just like a sailor of old, plotting his course by the height of the stars, but you can’t know the true worth of what you hold in your arms. You can sense that the love is there, and it’s big, but the magnitude of it, the nebulous force, is frightening.
It was amazing to be able to step back and see the beginning of all that love. To know that they were scared stiff and excited and feeling confident and useless all at the same time. It made me so happy. Little Lucy, the culmination of all those feelings, made me so happy. I love y’all.