Dedicated to all the families bringing new little people into the world.
The Day You Were Born
The day you were born was a day like any other.
People woke up and drove or biked to work.
We dozed briefly on couches or beds made of vinyl after many midnight hours of holding hands and breathing.
The day you were born people wrote emails and made lattes and poured concrete.
We rubbed backs and caressed sweaty foreheads and dove again and again and again into the rhythmic, pounding, relentless waves of energy and muscle and pain.
The day you were born people bought groceries and cooked dinner.
We ate hurried handfuls of cashews and bits of saltine cracker from the hospital snack room.
The day you were born people went outside and walked their dogs in the sun.
I didn’t even know what the weather was like because it was dark by the time I went outside
though I was vaguely aware of the changing light outside our window.
The day you were born people saw violence and hatred and destruction on the news and wondered how the world could have ever gotten this bad.
I saw a woman face agony after agony after agony with the most unimaginable courage even when she was sure there was no possible way she could endure it one. more. time.
I saw a partner with his beloved’s head against his chest, caressing her hair, holding her as power surged through her body again.
I saw two people who had loved each other in countless ways before I met them, walk into the unknown, together.
I saw them surrounded by people they had never met and will likely never see again, coming together to form a community of safety and untold generosity and kindness that could support them as they made their way to the other side.
I saw a father, face transfigured like one who’s seen the face of God, hugging people and laughing, as nurses and doctors shouted their congratulations.
I saw a mother staring into the face of her child.
The day you were born was a day like any other, as people went to sleep all over the world.
Oh, that they could wake up to the wonders I have seen.