Wednesday, January 21, 2009


There we were, all my kids and a few dear extras, sitting in Lily's living room. I'd had to make myself come into town- the anxiety has been knocking my knees, pulling me down to the floor with the weight of its damn return and I had at first plead too much to do to come into town to watch the inauguration. But then I talked to a friend and she said, "Go. All that other stuff can wait. This is important."
So I went and there we were, in the funky old apartment almost across the street from where I'd lived when I got pregnant with my first child and I told the kids, and I was already crying, how although I knew this was a huge event to them, that I could remember, in my lifetime, when I could not have sat next to this man about to be our president at the movie theater. And then we watched that man walk down that hallway and then stand up in front of everyone in the entire world and accept the responsibilities that made his shoulders bow, the second his hand was off the Bible. We stood up for it and the cats looked at us like we were crazy. We sang the National Anthem with silly passion, still standing, and we whooped and cheered and made crazy sounds and then Lily had something to tell me and I shot up into another planetary system entirely and I cried on her bosom because she's eight inches taller than I am, this child that I gave birth to yesterday in my bedroom on a September afternoon, all ten pounds, two ounces of her, the midwife working miracles to get her shoulders out, to get her breathing and alive, her daddy and I calling out to her and touching her and telling her we loved her.
This child, grown up and married now, is going to have a baby of her own and all I can think of is the day she was born, her daddy and I so happy, amazed at this babychild we'd created with our love, the very blessed miracle of her life and now, now, she and Jason are creating another life and here we all are, sisters, brother, her father and I and mostly she and her husband, hurtling off into a new part of the journey, the whirlwind overtaking us and pulling us forward, the genes that stretch back to all the foremothers and forefathers continued.
And I think about this baby and how much he or she is already loved and welcomed and speculated over and talked about and wished for and how next Thanksgiving there will be a baby.
A baby.
Our baby having a baby.
Luckiest baby ever. Lily will be his or her mother. Jason will be his or her father. Hank will be his or her uncle. May and Jessie will be his or her aunts.
And Mr. Moon and I will be...whatever the baby names us because the first grandchild names the grandparents and it's fitting that this next step in life is so big that you get to have new names.
Mother. Father. Uncle. Aunt. Grandmama. Grandpapa.
I feel so sobered.
I do not have the weight of the world on my shoulders like Obama but I have the weight of the family, or at least that's what it seems like. But it's a shared weight. There's not only family but there are friends that are as happy for them and who want to be a part of this baby's life as much as family.
Oh Lily.
I love you.
I will be the mother of a mother. The best mother in the world, because Lily is the fiercest woman I know and motherhood is all about being fierce with love and with passion and with joy.
And this child, this baby of my baby will never know a time when a black man couldn't be president, when all things were possible, and he or she will be born into love.
Bless that baby. Bless our president. Bless us all, and let's pray for hope and for safe passages and for light instead of darkness and for the infinite promise of life.


  1. That is so wonderful!! I knew it wouldn't be too long with all of the baby dreams you have been having!! I am so happy for all of you! What a wonderful new world for this lucky little one to come into. You are going to be a grandmother and you are going to be SO good at it!

  2. I love you so much Mom! I am glad you came yesterday, and am so glad you are excited about the baby. I know Jason and I are. It is going to be a wonderful, hard, and exciting journey to travel and I am glad you will be there with us. Lots of love from both of us.

  3. Whoo! I can't wait for that baby to get here so we can squeeze it! Yay Lily and Jason! Yay mama and dad!

  4. We'll try very hard not to smush that baby with our love.

  5. I'm going to have to do a lot of smushing the baby with my love. I have to pass it on.
    Yesterday was just amazing. I will never forget your face, Mama. That's the most I've ever seen you cry out of joy and love and probably from being scared.
    Yay to everyone!

  6. Yay! Congratulations!! I'm so happy for you all! Lily is going to make an awesome mama, and you are going to be a super grandmom!


  7. Congratulations, that is good news.

  8. Congratulations to you and yours!

  9. Congrats on your impending grandparent status! When I manage to get myself knocked up again, I'm going to tell you first, since your response will undoubtedly be more joyous than that of the rest of my (unenlightened, ass-backward, 'Christian', Republican) family.

  10. Congratulations, grandma!

  11. Whoa! I'm totally excited about this!! We so totally want to babysit and are willing to take a number. Harley LOVES babies!! (He wants to "get one", a girl baby...)

    Anyway, this is going to be so great! Am I freaking you out? We are also happy to help with meals when that time comes... although, again, I realize there will be no lack of good food, babysitters, support and love for this wee one. Wow. Congratulations everyone.
    xoxo PF

  12. HoneyLuna- What a GREAT aunt you are going to be, smushing and all. Yes, that was a precious moment and yes, I was joyful and scared.

    DTG- and YAY Uncle Hank!

    Lily- Girl. You are something. Love to all three of you and you know it.

    Lady Lemon- yeah, those baby dreams did mean something, huh?

    Ms. Riot- I hope good news comes to you soon, too. I'm thinking of you.
    And I'm going to try and be a good grandmom.

    XBox- You know, when I posted this, I thought of you and my heart was a little bit heavy. You two next. You two next.

    Robin- Thank you!

    RachelB- you know I'll be happy for you.

    Sally Moon- I can join the club now!

    Ms. Fleur- You aren't freaking me out. It's good, knowing you're right there.

  13. Oh that is such wonderful news! I am so happy for you! :) And what a lucky baby, to be born into such a loving and close family! <3

  14. CONGRATULATIONS!!! To you and your daughter...your whole entire family and all your friends.

    What wonderful, exciting news, especially that you could all be together. :)


  16. Great news, I'm so happy for you, you are going to be the world's best grandmother!

  17. Just what you need is a new baby to cuddle :) I am so happy for your family!

  18. I'm going to kiss that baby all up.



    As the inauguration was taking place, I sat in a strange and new classroom on my first day of school at a new campus, surrounded by more diversity than I've ever experienced. As I sat in those old desks, watching this 44th president being sworn in and giving us such inspiring and well-thought-out words, I thought these mind-consuming thoughts to myself:

    "My future children, and every child born after today will be brought up in a society where not only is it possible for a black man to be president, but it's just a part of life."

    I wondered if they would understand the significance, as I often wonder if I do myself. Being that I am only twenty-four years old, my time here has been short, but the strides we've taken just in my lifetime alone are enough to inspire my hope.

    What a beautiful day.

  20. Abandoning Eden- We're the lucky ones to have this new baby come and knit us all even tighter together, bringing us joy. I still can't believe it.

    GingerMagnolia- Thank you!

    Nanny- I'm about to learn, aren't I?

    MOB- I doubt it, but I'm going to try and be a good one.

    SJ- I think you're right. I DO need a baby to cuddle. So nice of Lily to provide one, right?

    Miss Maybelle- That baby will not want for kisses.

    AJ- a new world for all the new babies. It's such a hopeful thought.

  21. Congratulations! What a surreal experience, to be the mother of a mother! I can't wait to read all about the journey.

  22. Lora- and I'm sure I'll be writing about it.


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