Ten years ago I awoke in a hospital room, me and my not-yet-firstborn, a contented baby curled inside still. Through that long day of induction, beneath John’s grandmother’s quilt , I labored and waited by turns, waited to meet this new person, and though I barely suspected it, the new woman he would make of me.
He had a full head of dark hair, eyes the color of blueberries when finally, late in the evening, they laid him in my arms. All my beloved words caught in my throat with wonder.
He will be looking me straight on in the eye soon, this boy. His eyes, for the long haul, turned out to be his daddy’s hazel and thankfully, unlike mine, 20/20. But somehow he has my vision too, when he lifts a camera.
He loves stories and football and roasted pumpkin seeds and Mythbusters. He has an easy smile and a tender heart.
I am more because he is here. Sometimes I think we kid ourselves a bit, for surely in the business of training up a child, God is working on us just as steadily as we wake them for school, as we encourage green bean eating and penmanship, as we pray for blessing and protection and algebra and friendship. In moments of impatience, perplexity, confusion I have felt His fingers on the damp spinning clay ridges of my motherhood being made.
As you can tell, I am still nearly incoherent about this child, about the stuff of love born of love and entwined yet distinct, of encircling and guiding while I am supposed to be working myself out of a job. Surely parenthood is the greatest mystery I have ever experienced. I am so glad that God chose to share it with us— that my brother Jesus is also His Son.
From a doorway ten years away, I look back with fondness at that woman in the hospital bed. I recall with bemused tenderness the records she kept in those first terrified weeks, of every feeding and diaper. She has grown up some too. Grown in trust, sometimes by choice, sometimes her fingers peeled away one by one from their clutch. This child now is held still, but more lightly.
Today I celebrate ten years with Joshua, the boy we made with God, who with God is making me.