It is currently 5:33 A.M. (the internet being down, this was written in TextEditor) and I have been up for the better part of three hours: insomnia, for the first time since living in New York City.
Granted, Anthony has a head cold and a cough that pops through intermittently in his sleep, so the night sounds have not exactly been peaceful
Sitting here in the dark of my kitchen with only the stove light on I am reminded of that tiny little bedroom in Astoria, Queens, with one window and a futon mattress on the floor, clean as a whistle and containing the only things I owned, mostly excellent castoffs from trash day in the more upscale parts of the borough:
the fabulous heavy dark wood liquor cabinet that held most of my valuables, carted home at midnight on a dolly borrowed from a corner fruit market… the bamboo corner table, the batik print wrap used as a makeshift curtain…
I am reminded of all of the little lives contained in the larger: I've been so many places in my life and time, just like Donny.
There have been a few tears shed here at the table this morning, mostly fatigue but also the deep existential sadness that 5:00 AM brings when the balm of rest has been elusive. Tonight after a rousing game of chicken foot (where I talked such horrendously delicious smack and laughed until I cried at my mother's delightful nature) I felt the first movement in my womb that I knew would translate to the outside world. I put Anthony's hand right below my belly button and waited for Orion to shift and when he did I looked up at Anthony's face and saw such happiness and wonder. Right behind his head like a cancan line, the beaming faces of his mom and dad, mouths open like children.
Later as he tucked me in to bed he would say, "I felt my son" and I would smile at that milestone moment, knowing that there are so many to come.
That is where the tears come from: the nature of change, the beauty of the shifts, the answering of prayers and blessings we beg for… someday my boy will be bigger in my womb, felt by any hand that touches me and even further down the road if God is willing I will hold him in my arms and look into his eyes, slowly learning to give him back to the universe from which he came.
It is an almost unbearable tenderness, this love. Everything seems to melt into it - all of my rancor and misgivings fall powerless like constellations against the heavenly body of the morning sun, invisible. I welcome the way it crushes me even though it hurts so raw and big - we are not supposed to leave this life the way we came into it. I think that part of the divine plan is that we grow bigger, brighter, more generous and compassionate because of our experiences, because of our discomfort and pangs.
And so it goes….
My short ligaments stretch, my baby boy moves my body outward and breaks my heart: I cannot wait to see what future beauty he makes of me.