Thursday, September 27, 2012

Another Birth Day

Today is my Lily's birthday and I am thinking of that, how twenty-seven years ago I was in labor, walking around my back yard with my husband, stopping to hold on to him for contractions, Hank and May playing in another part of the yard, making an entire pretend city underneath the camellias and pines, waiting for their baby sister to be born.
It was a difficult birth and there was shoulder dystocia and she weighed over ten pounds and the midwife had to revive her at birth but it all worked out and it was such a beautiful day and after she was born I felt reborn myself in a way I have never experienced, before or since, just so grateful for my precious baby to be born and safe and pink and gorgeous, looking like a two-month old.

So grateful.

And I feel so grateful, still, for that child. That child, my daughter, Lillian Rose Moon Hartmann who has grown up to be a mother herself, who has given me the gift of two grandsons. One just never knows. One can hope, one can dream, but one really and truly never does know. Life can go this way or that. I am a pragmatist and I have a hard time believing that things are "meant to be" or that there is any plan and so, somehow, this makes it even more miraculous when things do blossom into a sort of grandness and glory, far beyond any expectation.

Last night we ran into some people I'd known a long time ago and the man of the couple had recently had a massive heart attack and according to them, had been clinically dead for fifteen minutes and yet, here he is, almost 100% fine and it was because when he had the heart attack, his daughter who is an ER doc was there and cops and paramedics got to the scene with the right equipment and the daughter knew how to do chest compressions and it all somehow, miraculously worked and instead of being dead or having brain damage, which by all rights one would think he would have, he is fine. He plays softball. He can still enjoy his life.
And the wife, after telling me this story said, "God sure must want him to stick around for some reason."
Of course, you know me. I wondered and wanted to say, "Then why did God give him a heart attack?" because honestly, it makes no sense to me at all to think something like that. And if he'd died, would she be saying, "God sure must have wanted him dead"?

It would be comforting to think there's always a reason, there's A Plan, there's meaning in everything and maybe there is but I don't think so. I think it's all just a fucking miracle. That horrible things happen and amazing things happen and that the very fact that a man and a woman can fall in love and create a life in the form of a baby girl who makes it to adulthood and then creates life herself and that all of that results in more and more love- well, that's just plenty of miracle for me.

Twenty-seven years ago I was in labor and I did the hardest thing I've ever done and the midwife was strong and wise and brave and so was that baby and so was I, or least my body was, and here we are and Lily and I are going to go get our toes done and maybe have some lunch and then I'll come home and whip cream with brown sugar and vanilla and confectioner's sugar and frost the cake layers I made for her yesterday and that cake has roughly chopped unsweetened chocolate in it and yet, it comes out all delicious and sweet and we'll put candles in it and she'll make a wish and blow them out and I will make a wish, too, the same wish I always wish whenever there's candles or a shooting star which is simply More. More of this.

That is always my wish, even with the unsweetened parts, roughly chopped, mixed in with the butter and the sugar and flour and the eggs my chickens laid and the love and the work and the pain and the fear and it was a beautiful, beautiful day when Lily was born, my beautiful darling daughter who grew pink, finally before my eyes while I touched her perfect body, chanting come on baby, I love you baby, you are my Lily Rose, and her eyes opened and she began to breathe and she looked at me and her daddy and I guess she decided to stay and her brother and sister loved on her and we all loved on her and to this day, we love on her and she loves back on us, and her other sister too, born three-and-a-half years later, and this was never what I had planned because I didn't presume enough to have a plan but it is a miracle and today, I am remembering that. I am wishing for more but at the same time, I am astonished at what has already been.


  1. Happy Birthday, Lily Rose. Your mama gave you the best gift with this post, so full of love.

    Mary Moon, you made me smile, laugh and cry all in the space of one page. You made me see my son's purple face as he came into this world, cord around his neck, and made me remember the relief and love that washed over me as he turned pink and never crying, just stared around at this great big world. He's still staring with those big, knowing eyes.

    Every day is filled with miracles, yes? Hard to buy into anyone's ideas of a master plan, as this all just is, what it is.

    Thanks for sharing this, for wanting more. Me too. I especially want that cake recipe. :)


  2. Wow! This is your week for birthday happiness, and you know how fond I am of birthdays. I hope you and Miss Lil have a blast today.

    The love between a mother and daughter defies space and time.

  3. Beautiful, just beautiful, things sure do just happen, good things and horrible things, at this moment a girl from my town Jill Meagher is missing half a world away in Melbourne... Her poor poor family, and young husband.. She was just walking home and never arrived.. J

  4. I'm a believer in these everyday miracles, too.
    Birthday wishes to Lily!

  5. Happy birthday to all including the original mama--you. Yes and yay.

  6. I think Lillian Rose Moon is about the prettiest name I have ever heard. A pretty name for a pretty girl.

    Happy Birthday, Lily. I love you so.


  7. Happy birthday to your darling Lily, and congratulations to you too, as it was your special day also.... what joy children can bring, but a lot of love is what cushions their loving and then they can pass that on to the next gorgeous generation, just as your girl has done with her two boys.. lucky indeed to have had a mother like you, to raise a girl to be a mother for those boys...

  8. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. I am so struck by your words -- particularly how you wish for "more of the same." That's so damn enlightened and beautiful, I just don't know what more to say!

    Happy Birthday, dear Lily. Dear, beautiful Lily.

  9. What a beautiful post!! And happy birthday to both of your precious babies.

  10. Happy birthday to Lily. What a wonderful gift this post is that she can always have.

  11. I remember that day like it was yesterday. I remember thinking I wanted to be a mother just like you and love my kids like you did. I still feel that way and am still trying.

    Happy birthday, Lilly Rose Moon. I remember you coming into the world and if you are looking for joy, miracles and love...that day was it.
    Love you Mary Moon!

  12. 37 years ago today I gave birth to my second son! It's a very special day to me too. I love your blog Ms Moon. I read it every day, and we have a lot in common. Thank you for doing what you do.


  13. Oh Mary. Your wish makes me weep. Happy birth day. You too are a miracle, and you know what? I'd rather have miracle, grace, than A PLAN.

    If there's a god, it's miracle. It's grace.

    It's wishing for More of This.

  14. Happy birthday to your beautiful girl!

  15. You don't have to wish for more. More will happen! That's the REALLY miraculous thing -- life just keeps coming. (I agree there is no plan and no guiding consciousness, however.)

    Happy birthday to your daughter and I hope you all have (or had?) a great celebration.

  16. Happy birthday to Lily. I am amazed at the birth process and what a wonder it all is.

  17. ╔♫╗────────╔═╦╗─♫╗╔╗─╔╗─♥──
    ஜ۩۞۩ஜ LILY ஜ۩۞۩ஜ


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