*Largely excerpted from a post I wrote in October of last year. With illuminations. And an addendum.
It is not at all the way I imagined it would be…in those moments…when I dreamed for my daughter…recklessly…without bounds. It is not the way I dreamed it for myself. I always envisioned myself as an obnoxious grandmother…of the sort who would relate, in excruciating detail, each moment of the pregnancy, birth and childhood….to my long-suffering friends, as well as to blog readers, mere acquaintances, seat mates on planes, unfortunate cashiers…. Instead, we have eased into it…with fragility, and uncertainty…timidly feeling our way…one…step…at a time.
My daughter is having a baby. She is eighteen. She is not married.
I grieve for her. I grieve for the fact that sadness and regret have wrapped their murky tendrils around a moment meant to radiate white-hot with joy. I grieve because raising children demands so much of you in the best of circumstances. And now, it will demand more. And I grieve for her dreams. Dreams that must be amended…or postponed…indefinitely.
Life is a gift.
Not asked for.
And JOY persists…nudging, warming, and sometimes erupting into glorious raptures. Because we have made a space for it. Because we have learned, through follies of our own, that God takes a peculiar pleasure in transforming what seem to be impossible situations into vibrant displays of His glory.
I watch my precious daughter as she becomes particular about caring for her body to protect the baby. I watch her dream and study. I see her unfolding…like a blossom…the sweet, fragile beauty that has been clasped so tightly…unfurling. I see the intensity of her love for this tiny one who she has never met growing her…stretching her. And I know this will continue to call something out in her…will help her to find things in herself…she does not even know exist…yet.
I am not naive. I know this will demand more of her than either of us can imagine. But I keep asking myself my friend Gail’s favorite question, “What does this make possible?” And, I confess, I find the possibilities exhilarating.
Friends and family members have exceeded our wildest imagination in the extravagance of their grace and love. It has been good to see the people of God walk in their roles as lovers and redeemers. It is another lesson in the power of community and in the futility of living alone.
Addendum: Kenzie is three months old today. The hard has been every bit as hard as we imagined. But the wonderful. Well, let me just say that our capacity for delight has been stretched to dimensions completely unfathomable. We are seeing all things anew. Through deep sapphire eyes full of wonder. There is magic in the world that did not exist before. And my lovely daughter continues to grow into this role. Her love for her baby is fierce and wild. And playful and full of laughter.
Happy 3 month birthday, little one!! I love you!
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
*Photos 1-4 and 6 taken by my daughter, the mommy. Photo 5 taken by our dear friend Angela Davis.