I can scarcely believe it’s been two years since that day. that day that shifted everything and has since been the compass star to my life. there is something about two years that signifies the real end of babyhood. it’s fitting, then, that my monthly fertility cycle finally returned just last week. finally. his conception, pregnancy, birth and young life have finally come full circle. I look at the pictures I took today mystified by the mature face and body of my youngest son.
and so it is. as parents, we are so blessed to be able to greet these new souls. we see the nature of humans better than anyone. our children are such beautiful glowing beings that blind us to look upon and burst our hearts open in an instant.
it’s no secret that I am an atheist, realist, pragmatist, pessimist. yet when it comes to my children, I am more than happy to play the devils advocate and say I don’t know where we come from, where we go. also, as an aging person, I also can’t shake the nagging feeling that I am an eternal being on a pointed journey. maybe that’s just the nature of human beings’ oversized brains, always looking for patterns. or maybe it’s a deeper kind of knowing. a kind that finds a hard time standing up to the modern world. yet one that I increasingly feel the pull of.
I try to keep the birthdays of the kids positive and joyful and celebratory. yet there is always a tugging for me as their mother, with each passing year, of the things I am asked to let go of and relinquish. more than is reasonable, it sometimes feels like. each birthday brings elation and conversely, mourning. they are often also rife with deep reflection, nostalgia, and pangs of the type of love that could cut, it’s so sharp.
after all of the festivities died down, miles was asleep, exhausted. the older two and I were laying together in bed, and as is often the case, some serious ponderings started in. discussion of this and that and finally, the subject that often finds its way to my young children’s minds. how long does a person live? where do you then go? where were we before we were…here? on their birthdays, as is a tradition in waldorf schools, I tell the rainbow bridge story.
the rainbow bridge story is basically a story about how a soul (that child) was looking down on earth from across the rainbow bridge for a family and found a mother (me) and a father (greg) and told their spirit guides that they wanted to join us. then, after waiting nine months, they crossed the rainbow bridge and came to join our family. it’s a beautiful story. I give each story some personalization based on the child and the particular year.
anyways, we were there lying in the darkness and joel asked something about how long a person lives and ruth chimed in that after their lives were done they would go back across the rainbow bridge and then come back again as someone else. “we already died before, joel, and lived with another family. then after we cross the rainbow bridge again, we pick a different family.” he seemed comforted and signaled his acceptance of this by placing his thumb in his mouth and rolling over. “mom?” ruth asked. yeah? I said. “could you see me coming across the rainbow bridge?” no, I said, but I can picture it in my head. “I see me crossing over a rainbow. not a bridge.” I nodded into the darkness which she seemed to sense and began to drift off to sleep herself.
on the day of miles birth, the summer air is heavy with moisture, looking like threatening rain. mulberries are ripe on trees and stain the ground purple and black like ink spots. today we drove along a country rode and there were so many fireflies in the darkening fields it could take your breath away. more beautiful than any fireworks display and completely silent. the heart of summer.