I want to remark on the religious path of motherhood from the point of view of a father and a husband. By religious, I'm talking about the Latin root of the word, re legio: to reunite with things.
In giving birth, I've seen my wife, Rachel, reunite with parts of herself that were far away from her, or at least, parts that had been safely transposed into the intellectual archives of her past.
But when Claire arrived, I saw and heard Rachel touch base with things long gone: clarification of distant, vague moments that she knew had affected her. I saw her reach back to connect with the early experiences of her life, making religious connections.
I have made religious connections, too, but Rachel was the boxer, and I was the trainer in the corner with the spit pail. That's not a cop-out, but a fact: women take it on the chin, no matter how "involved" a father is. Claire passed through Rachel's body, not mine, and the echoes of that intimacy will always keep her a shade closer than I will ever be to Claire.
For Rachel, pregnancy was hard, and exhilarating, as religious journeys are. She suffered, got to know herself, and was transfigured. She got to know disappointment, and joy. She got to know midnight, as well as high noon. And I got to love her more deeply as I watched her take this ride, this scary ride, that she took partly for the love of me. What to say? I am thankful for my wife's courage to have a baby at 44. For her to have a baby at all.
And I am thankful my wife writes. Puts it into words. The "word" surrounding this religious experience. I love her writing, and I think, one day, Claire will treasure it as well.
And when Claire has branched off into her own life years from now, not needing us so much, Rachel and I will sit on the couch, hold hands, and leaf through her blog. We will read aloud the words she has put down about this incredible journey we took together. And it will be better than any photograph or home movie ever recorded.
- By George Demas
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