Addicted to Ink

Sunday, December 30, 2007

should be sleeping

Okay, so it's almost 1 a.m. and surely as a new deliriously frazzled mom I should be sleeping right now (though Dominic is now sleeping through the night. Amazing!)
But I'm realizing that I haven't been writing very much at all these days, other than notes on Christmas-thankyou-birthannouncement cards. And I miss it.
One of my favorite authors these days is Jodi Picoult (not for the feint-of-heart or easily offended. But if you have the time to not put a book down for a few days, she's your woman!). Her latest (I think) book Nineteen Minutes is heartbreaking... it's about a bullied 17-year-old (Peter) who shoots up his school... killing 10, wounding 19, and scarring 1000. A lot of the book focuses on Peter's mom - a gifted, sweet, good-mom midwife whose life is devastated by the actions of her youngest son. Sure, she made mistakes in rearing him...and she picked apart each and every one of those mistakes... but she was a good mom who did her very best.
Yet this kid broke her heart. And far worse moms somehow reared healthy, well-adjusted kids.

And my husband is obsessed with the crime show "The First 48" which follows homicide units during the first 48 hours after discovery of the victim.

As I hold my baby, I can't help but think that we all - cops and criminals and psychopaths and heroes alike - started out this young, this innocent, this perfect.

As I rock him to sleep crooning my soft, off-key lullabies into his ear (and they somehow still put the poor kid to sleep or at least he pretends, maybe so I'll stop singing!) or respond to his whimpers when he cries at any hour of the day, I wonder what will become of him... I think about the possibilities of whom he could become. Will he break our hearts? Will he be just a person with an "ordinary" job? Will he marry and have children of his own? Will he do something great? How will he change the world? Because each of us do, you know.
And I can't help think but think of the most powerful, most true quote I know by C.S. Lewis, that goes,
"It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or other of these destinations. It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no 'ordinary' people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilisations -- these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub and exploit -- immortal horrors or everlasting splendours. This does not mean that we are to be perpetually solemn. We must play. But our merriment must be of that kind (and it is, in fact, the merriest kind) which exists between people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously -- no flippancy, no superiority, no presumption. And our charity must be a real and costly love, with deep feeling for the sins in spite of which we love the sinner -- no mere tolerance or indulgence which parodies love as flippancy parodies merriment."
And I think about the heavy responsibility we as his parents have to help our child toward a destination that is good.
And I pray for mercy and grace for all of the mistakes we have yet to make. I pray that he will become his best in spite of those mistakes, and somehow always know that we are crazy about him, that we're always in his corner, that our love for him is deep and wide and true and permanent and unconditional.

And now, I'll go listen to him breathe one more time before I go to sleep myself. And I'll hold his tiny hand and treasure that moment. And sometime in the future when we talk about the days before his memories take shape, he will sense how much I've always loved him.