Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt.
It's a line in a Kurt Vonnegut book that seems to resonate with a lot of people. My older brother related to it so much that he got it tattooed all across his back. As for me, well, I never understood it. For years I ached so deep and unending that I nearly drowned in the pain. Nothing was beautiful and everything hurt...that was more like it. I'm exaggerating, of course. There was beauty, but there was always, always, always hurt to eclipse it.
Today though, folks and friends, today I get it.
My once shattered heart is healed in such a way that I can't believe it ever broke. I'm continually amazed that I have the privilege of knowing my dearest, darling P - that she is my baby, in my arms, and that I'm her mama. I feel more whole and happier than I ever have in my entire life just because she is.
And, gracious me, this babe of mine is a total keeper. She's loud...like LOUD for real. Her cries are so sudden and attention grabbing that people think maybe they hurt her. Her early morning giggles are more akin to screams and cackles. She's a babbler, a face grabber, a beard eater. We like to joke that she's got her daddy's looks and her mama's personality. We're as smitten as two people ever have been with anything.
I thank God* for this baby, for allowing her existence to help heal all the deep wounds I thought would never go away, and (a beg more than a prayer most days) for keeping her safe.
*I'll insert this disclaimer that I don't understand God, aside from a few things that I know to be absolute truths. I don't know if it was God that kept me from becoming a mama for all of those years. I can't imagine that my Father would do such a thing - watch me die and wither and die again for months on end - and yet, the story of Job tells me that He doesn't keep us from suffering if it advances His kingdom within ourselves or in the world. Conversely, I struggle attributing P's existence as specifically from Him any further than acknowledging that He is the author and creator of all life. So take whatever I say about the Lord with a grain of salt: it's just the ramblings of a woman who doesn't quite know the answer to much of anything.