I’m jumping way into a later memory. I have a whole list of childhood memories I still want to share, but today I only want to write about this.
When I was twenty-three I had my first child. Thinking about it now it seems alarmingly young. But at that time it felt completely natural.
I could write for pages and pages about the birth, but this post is not about my birth experience. The only relevant information is that I was in labor for 36 hours in a whirlwind of pain, fear, and fetal distress. So when he finally came, after what felt like waging war to bring him into my arms, I looked at him and he was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. I couldn’t take my eyes off him. I remember staring at his face for hours babbling incoherently to try and express to those around me the sheer magnitude of his beauty.
I’m sitting here now still unsure of how to explain this to you. I have never seen beauty like that before or since, even when I had my next two children. When I look at his newborn pictures I can see sort of the edges of it, but it’s not quite there. It was something incapturable. I don’t know if it was the stress of the birth, or the magic of him making me a mother for the very first time, or what exactly it was, but gazing upon his face I wanted to weep with the ethereal beauty of him. I probably did.
He was a luminous fairy child, or perhaps an angel fallen into my arms. He was mesmerizing. He was perfect. He was mine.
Today I keep thinking of that absolute beauty, the way it branded me, the way it turned me inside out. If I close my eyes I can almost see it once again.
Note: I’ve decided not to include a newborn photo of him with this post. He really was a gorgeous baby, but this about something that doesn’t quite show up on camera. Something spiritual or magical that existed only in those first hours. That is what I want to share with you.