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.
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.
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.