Though I have been remiss about keeping up on the doings of Otter, tonight I dedicate this space to a new life, about to make an appearance in this world.
My friend is off having a baby tonight. When she woke up this morning she had no idea that today or, at the very latest, tomorrow she'd have a child. Well, she had some idea - being as she was creeping up on 40 weeks, and babies tend to pop out right around that time. But no matter how close you are, the actual transition from oven to mother is a sudden and definitive one. It is a line in the sand - or rather, in concrete. For unlike sand, marks on concrete are permanent, and no wind or tide can erase them.
People always talk about how children will change your life. But while the entire pregnancy is a rite of passage, it is a mostly hypothetical one, bolstered by vague ideas of how your day-to-day existence will be altered by the presence of this creature growing inside you. It can be a time of great stress, or great anticipation, but it's not "real," no matter how real it seems.
And then, either by knife or nature, the "before" is literally rent from the "hereafter." It's not until the moment that this being, suddenly separated from you, enters your life in it's own right, that the true magnitude of what is about to be, what you are to become, suddenly comes into focus before you in undeniable clarity. Yet only in hindsight can you truly process and understand that moment.
So to L, as you embark on what is to be the most challenging journey, know this about your child...
He will be an abyss of need; and an endless source of love.
He will teach you patience beyond measure; and you will learn to recognize your limits.
He will cause you laughter; and make your soul over-run with sorrow.
He will test your boundaries; and make you forget your inhibitions.
He will do all these things and much, much more than you or I can ever imagine.
For he is magical. Don't ever forget that.