Thursday, April 28, 2011


When I first laid eyes on my first baby all I could think was


Other thoughts raced through my mind, of course. She had her mouth set like my grandmother, Lena. She was so fair - I was expecting a baby with a mop of black hair and dark skin like her daddy. She was breathing - thank God - so sweetly, and gave off some kind of newness perfume I'd never experienced before. (Later, the perfume turned on me in a vicious, ugly way... who knew diaper contents could be so toxic?) She was tiny, precious, delicious. I had none of the post-partum distance that others have experienced - I absolutely adored her immediately and wanted always to be touching her, holding her, taking her in.

I haven't lost any of that after thirteen years. In all my thoughts and deeds throughout every day my heart aches to be with her, see her, laugh with her and love her as much as I possibly can. So as to discourage you from any thoughts that I might be a complete loon, I should say that these feelings have learned to comfortably co-exist with thoughts of complete exhaustion, impatience, fury, disbelief and fret as my little treasure inches closer and closer to having my mouth and temperament. Who ordered that? Also, she's now got a killer figure that has not escaped the notice of most neighborhood boys, thereby rendering her father a sputtering curmudgeon and placing me in the precarious position of buffering contact between them, especially on the subject of the park and a certain young man with intentions Tony can smell from a mile away. I digress.

Since the moment I laid eyes on my Lucy, through all her trials (I DON'T YIKE PEEZ - in full 3-year-old-tantrum) and joys (I got 112 on that math test!! [[yick]]) the prevailing thought in my mind has been


Because it's not possible that I could have such a beauty as a child, that I might have earned the privilege of parenting someone who makes me look so good when really, truly, I'm a mess and totally undeserving. It's not possible that she might be so healthy, in every way bright, sociable, warm, funny, creative - that kind of amazing belongs to other people who know what they're doing. It couldn't be true that the clumsy, uncalculated path I took to becoming an adult led me to become the lifelong mentor to this magical person - what could I possibly offer that she doesn't already possess naturally in spades? She's so smart. She's so charming. So gorgeous. It's just inconceivable, isn't it?

(Are you repeating the line in your head from The Princess Bride about that word not meaning what I think it means?)

And yet, if ever a prayer has been answered, mine was. If ever a dream came true, mine did. If ever the impossible has happened, she is. As inconceivable as she might be, my lovely Lucy reminds me every day that, with God, all things indeed are possible and even the least worthy among us is treated with treasure and precious love. And for that, I am eternally grateful.