His eyes were the color of ripe blueberries, or perhaps the November night sky outside the hospital window. I held him, frightened and delighted and just awestruck. But I believed it. He was surely my beloved child, and I was well pleased. There was a spark of recognition– yes– this is the one we’ve been waiting for. Joshua, strong and courageous. And two and a half years later, Samuel, for this child I prayed.
Nothing much stays the same. Those navy blue eyes have lightened and warmed to his father’s hazel. Infant cuddles are now an arm around the shoulder mostly, or a ruffled head. We locked gazes in that hospital bed, and he’ll be looking me in the eye before I know it. Both of my boys are dearer every day, but we are far from the November night and April noon when we met and already knew each other as beloved.
Surprise, surprise that our kids are people, too. They grow and change, they can disappoint us and bruise our hearts. Words and actions alien and unexpected come from them, and we question our understanding of them, our influence over them.
It helps to go back to that hospital bed, and that moment of recognition. Not only that my son was my beloved, but that he was beloved by Another before me. I was privileged to partner in his making, but God knew him intimately before I met him. He was born secure in that Love, and though I can offer him only a shadow of that devotion, I can make a place for him in the world that is unearned and un-losable. That place says my children are always seen and always loved.