I’ve been thinking about babies for the last few days, specifically two growing boys named Carlos and Justice.
December 26th is “Carlosmas” because my son was born on a snowy, quiet morning the day after Christmas, three quick years ago.
When G and I went to the hospital at 7 p.m. on Christmas night, the snow had just begun to fall. Vivi was beside herself with excitement–a visit from Santa, Grandma in charge, snow, AND a baby brother! My whole body quivered with nervous energy, too. When we got to the maternity unit, my friend, Paulette, was going off shift but decided to stay to get me settled. That one act of kindness set my mind at ease. It was all going to be OK.
For Vivi’s arrival, there had been a host of people in and out all day–I got giving birth somewhat confused with a tea party. In the end, it was perfect and just the right entrance for Vivi, who has always been vivacious and loves the fuss and bother of a party. For Carlos’ arrival, it was just G and me, whiling away the quiet hours of the night. We walked the empty halls. We watched a black and white movie. We watched the snow gather on the big dogwood tree outside my window. We slept until 6 a.m. and I woke knowing that it was going to be SOON.
But there was no chaos. My friend, Alecia, four months pregnant herself and married to my cousin’s cousin, ended up being our delivery nurse. She called my doctor, who lives just a block away so he walked in through the snow. G and I had done this before, so we were more excited than nervous. The room filled with joyful people as the snow fell outside.
Carlos arrived at 6:27 a.m., along with a lavender glow of sunrise on the snow. I remember looking out the window and feeling such peace. My son is a quiet, joyful child–the chillest little person you’d ever want to meet. Looking back now that I know him better, his birth morning suited him perfectly.
While I watched the purple snow take on the light of morning, with my son now in the world with me, I thought about Christmas and the miracle that Christians believe happened with the birth of one child. My heart told me in that moment that EVERY baby is a miracle. Every baby is another chance to get it right, to be our best selves, to live love. Thoreau put it best: “Every child begins the world again.”
Last year, in the snowy winter, a little boy was born many weeks early. He began his life too small and all alone and struggling. He embodied a chance to live love to anyone who could take him. And that’s exactly what he got. A man I knew a long time ago, David, and his husband, Mark, adopted this tiny baby and gave him a name and a family. They loved him until he was strong enough to leave the hospital. They did the work to make him part of their family. They met his every need and then some. Justice has flourished in his family. I saw a picture of him and his big sister the other day and that baby has the kind of cheeks that make you believe that everything is going to be OK. In a year, his expression has blossomed into smiles. He lives in love and it shows.
I guess what I was thinking about on the morning of Carlos’ birth was something like this: we spend so much effort and energy thinking about another world when there are miracles born every day in this one. Every baby is a gift with the potential to save us from our worst selves. Every baby is a chance to get it right. Every baby brings peace and a chance to live love.