I know that you’re probably going to wish that I had talked to you before I decided to post this in such an open forum. I know that this is the sort of thing you’d prefer me say over coffee while sitting at your kitchen island, because it’s about me and you and your kid, and I generally agree that those are conversations that should be kept pretty close to the vest. The thing is, though, and I’m sure you won’t fault me this, when your best friend does this really incredible thing and you’re bursting with pride, you pretty much want the whole world to know. It’s times like this that I wish I had access to a megaphone and a mountaintop or the White House press corps or Oprah, because Lord knows that lady can get a message to scatter the globe. But since I don’t have access to any of those things, we’ll have to settle for the world being much smaller in being whoever happens upon this blog. Even so, this thing that I want to the whole world to know is simply this: you, my friend, are amazing. And this really incredible thing that you’ve done is motherhood.
I cannot imagine what it must be like to have someone invade you like that, body and soul, inside and out. I guess we get tastes of it before we become moms when we date and get married and engage in that process of becoming one with someone. But, this kind of oneness that motherhood brings is a kind of oneness unto its own. Maybe Sarah Jobe is right, and pregnant women are a picture of how God is multiple-and-yet-one. It makes sense to me now, having walked alongside you the last nine months, watching you care for another person, who is altogether separate from you and yet altogether with you at the same time. You looked like one person – you, Jesse, who loves me well, only with a bigger belly – and yet you were two – you and Noah, mother and son, individuals who were God-ordained to have unique purposes. Multiple and yet one – you’ve been a picture of it. It’s kind of intense when you stop to think about it, probably too intense for today actually. Because today is about the simplicity of Noah’s existence and the extraordinary thing that you did today in bringing him to us.
Noah looks like you. Your mom and your sister can look at him and see particulars – your nose or chin or lips – but, I just think he generally looks like you. He’s beautiful. His eyes are open and curious, and I hope this is true of him always. I hope he’s someone who lives in the world with abandon, who soaks in the goodness of God in the way He moves in this crazy place. And as someone who generally always plays it safe, I hope he takes risks (without being reckless). I hope that he’s smart, too. I don’t mean that I hope he does well in school or loves to read, although I wouldn’t be sad if he becomes someone who also appreciates the work of, say, Bonhoeffer or C.S. Lewis and stays on the honor roll. What I do mean is that I hope he’s discerning and thoughtful and considerate. And I hope he loves people well. And I hope he knows Jesus.
I say “hope” again and again, but it’s not like I’m worried that he’s not going to attain these things or possess these qualities. In fact, I’m already confident that he’s going to be someone who makes a difference in the world and changes the people in it for the better. Lord knows, he’s already changed me.
There’s a scene in a movie that I love where a new dad comes out of the hospital room he’s sharing with his wife and new baby to talk to one of his wife’s best girlfriends and he says, “I’m a big pile of love today.” It’s the only way I can think to describe how I feel today: a big pile of love. And even that seems a grand understatement. I’m full of love for Noah. I think there’s a part of my heart that’s been closed, just waiting for Noah to get here to bust the floodgates wide open. Because Noah’s softening me and making me mushy and teaching me what it is to love someone purely, for who they are and for nothing more than that. I watch him, and I melt inside. I hold him, and I’m undone. I’m in the same space as him, and I can’t imagine what it would be like to move away and miss his tee ball games or band concerts or art shows. Certainly I’ll move if God calls me to that, but I’m suddenly impressed to pray that such a call never actually happens. I want to be around to watch your kid grow up. I want to grow up with him.
The love, however, is not contained to just Noah. You’re my best friend and I love you deeply, but there’s something in your being his mom that makes me love you more somehow. There’s something in watching you make sacrifices, and suffer through pain, and be concerned about his eating and his sniffles that is bringing out the best of you. There’s some kind of pride in my heart that has been reserved just for you as you shine in this moment. And, my friend, you’re the brightest and most beautiful I’ve ever seen you.
I will always be glad that I was there today. I will carry with me forever that I was one of the family that got to hold Noah and kiss his head while he was only a few hours old. And I will smile every time that I think of the day that you became a mom. It was a very good day.
I love you.