A card came from my mother this afternoon. It reads, “You have a secret pair of wings to give your spirit flight; may they carry all your hopes and dreams to unimagined heights.” The words resonate as my mind turns again and again each day to labor and delivery, inconceivable pain, facing my fears, learning to let go and the long journey inward to an ancient place I’ve never been, but have only witnessed from the sides of hospital beds. All that I’ve been part of has brought me to this mysterious yet somehow familiar new dimension. I’ve shed the girl I once was, the girl who twice cheered hysterically, with a sweaty brow and teary eyes, for my cousin and then my sister, the girl who squeezed H’s hand so hard H told me to loosen-up as the baby was crowning. Thoughts of my own labor come from a place that is neither head (too cluttered with voice) nor heart (too reactionary). They rise up from stillness, a place that has never communicated with me until now. My mother wrote in the card, Sometimes dreams do come true! It made me think of all the dreams that have transitioned to reality for me. I left Medford, Massachusetts. Forteen years ago I watched a baby come into this world. I got my own apartment, twice. I became an actor and writer. I drove across country by myself. I worked in Los Angeles. I worked in New York City. I swam with dolphins. There was never a dream to get married or have children. Ever.
Going back fifteen years to the snowy curb of the B.U. Cineplex, my then-friend TC, asked if I thought I might like to have children someday. In unison the mind and the heart lashed: “Fuck no! So they can grow up and hate me? No thanks!” TC: “That’s funny, ’cause I imagine you’d be a great mom.” I couldn’t begin to conceive of how he’d arrived at such a notion. I fell in love with him, the only person I’ve ever known who is truly honorable and truly without prejudice. Our wedding day became the happiest day of my life. Seeing D take her first breath became the happiest moment of my life. Hearing Z’s newborn cry became the happiest moment of my life. I had immense faith that D & Z were moving toward me, my soul-mates, healthy and strong, the shadow of doubt never crossed my path. Much was beyond my power; all I had was my faith. But now, much is within my power – the great responsibility to eat, sleep, care for myself anew. So my mind turns to Labor. It promises to take me back to that treacherous but oddly comfortable zone of profound faith, where I have only my higher power to lead me through the blackness to that faraway portal which is flooded with light, and on the other side, Nirvana, my babies, whoever they are, ready to be reunited with their sisters, and us, for the duration of this life. It feels like I’ve been here before.