Being grateful and being truly aware of your blessings are two entirely different things.
I sat down today while the girls napped to write a letter of reference for friends of ours. Sean was working on prepping dinner and putting away groceries so that I was unencumbered by all the things that are more easily accomplished without kids underfoot. I had a simple directive—
Explain how they would be good parents.
My mind was zipping around, should I talk about their musical talents? Creativity? Generosity? Work ethic? Is it important to talk about family or explain the strength of their values and their open minds? Should I be playful or concise, should I use big words or dumb it down? After typing and deleting a half a page’s worth of here’s-why-they’re-great I began to feel a little queasy. Discomfort shifted to indignation. It felt so wrong.
I replayed the three times I found out I was pregnant, the only judgement I had to deal with was the reaction to the announcement. Murmurs about it being too soon, was I trying for a boy, was it a mistake… We didn’t have to demonstrate that there were adults I know who could vouch for our fitness to be parents. I sighed, a floor board upstairs creaked as little feet touched the floor. The blank screen stared back at me. I needed to finish and someone was up, soon to be followed by two more someones.
My eyes filled with tears as I realized that naps and cuddles, first teeth and first words, hung in the balance. My fingers danced over the keys as I recalled juggling and dancing, the afternoons holding them close and calling extra goodnights. Hugs and squeals of delight. All along, it was them, offering extra layers of parenting and adoration to our girls. Sean came and read the letter, I saw the same memories and more flashing behind his eyes as he became aware of all that we have and all that our friends deserve.
I am emerging from oblivion and acknowledging how genuinely blessed we are, both as parents and as friends. If you could do me a huge favor and send up a little extra something to the universe to help a tiny person find his or her way to the parents who are so ready to start their rightful life, I’d be eternally grateful.