Elisa wrote a beautiful post for Grateful this week. As I read it, a memory sparked in me that was so powerful that I had to pause to catch my breath.
It is 2004 and Maxi is seven weeks and two days old. My whole body is feeling raw and tender with sleep deprivation and birth complications and the business of parenting a baby that cries and cries and cries and then smiles like a firework has burst into the night sky.
I was dozing on the couch, my baby nestled at the breast. We had been there for more than an hour; he was a very slow feeder, it’s true. I was lulled by those breastfeeding hormones; dizzy with gentleness.
Something on the news about an under-age driver killed going 140km in a 60 zone. I sleepily thought of his parents and the anguish they must be feeling. The appalling, screeching, screaming anguish. And then suddenly I realised that I knew that anguish, I felt it because it was my painful, heavy anguish too. I felt all-at-once connected to that family in a way that was visceral and real. My heart was there for them, carrying their heart across their unbearable pain.
And ever since, whenever something is happening that sparks emotion in me – good or bad – I feel that connection. It is like I am the parent of the whole wide world. That the fragile world is sheltered by the love I have for my children and the care I pull across them night and day.
I am here and I am feeling and I am in you just as you are in me. We are all the parents of this world and together we keep watch. Together we carry each and every one of us across the pain and into a smile like a firework that has burst into the night sky.
[Image by Brendan Howard]