Sunday, November 25, 2012

A time of babies

This time of my life, my early thirties, is good.  It is a time full of babies and weddings.  New school shoes and, "Show Daddy how high you can jump in your new kicks!"

It is a time of memories, they're so near.  They hover around me like beams of light through water.  My daughters were born, once.  That happened.  They were shimmering and soft and real.  When I see pictures of them from the first day of their life, my skin is rubbed raw and torn.  I look into their lost little faces and think, I almost can't remember you, but the scent of your skin is etched into my veins.  The warmth of your skin, how pink and perfect and pale.  I remember your face on my throat, your soft, milky breath across my cheek.  I remember when we were the same thing.  You were covered in me, and I held you, always.

How wonderful and terrible a thing it is to live in a time of babies.

It is important, I'm sure of that.  It is important to hold hands and circle around our pregnant friends, to call them in the morning, those newborn mornings that can feel like being exposed under a spotlight.  It is important to hold all of the babies of the world.  To covet them, whisper to them, get drunk on them, to remember your own.

It has been a hard and easy thing to decide not to have any more children.  It is too risky, even if the risk is small.  It is also too scary, to go through postpartum nights and worrying over medication.  Bolting awake at the sound of a tiny cry.  Hearing cries everywhere.  Sinking under the water in the bath to drown them out.  Calling from under the white light of the bathroom, standing in the tub, dripping and cold.  Echoing. "Honey?  Was that baby?  Is everything okay?"

My friends are getting married.  They are settling in with the loves of their lives.  Some of them are divorcing, some of them are abandoned, all of them are perfect and sweet and lonely.  We all want someone to get inside of.  The world is so big and we are so tiny, we but birthed a world, we bled a river, we cried an ocean.  Our babies were born and we love them.  This is such a time to be alive.