A different kind of labor on my baby’s 16th birthday
Sixteen years ago today — right now — I was in labor with my firstborn. It was a moment in time that would change me forever, a day that would usher into my life a new definition, a new vocation, a new and fierce kind of love. Today, as Noah stands on the brink of adulthood,
I’m in a different kind of labor, and although it doesn’t require any special breathing methods, it is in many ways more painful than the first time around.
This time, rather than birthing my baby into the close and tight little cocoon of our lives, I am pushing him outward into the world, watching and waiting as he takes those tentative steps toward independence.
In the early days of our life together, when I was caught up in the powerful bonds of new motherhood and the “baby blues,” I would dance with Noah around our Texas living room and cry as I listened to the words of John Lennon’s “Beautiful Boy.” Even now, tears are rolling down my face as I play it while posting. It reminds me of those first days, and it reminds me how quickly life passes us by if we’re not careful to pay attention, and even if we are.
“Before you cross the street, take my hand. Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans…”
Happy Birthday, darling Noah. Don’t let life happen to you while you’re not looking. Go out and grab it, savor it, live it. Here’s our song.