[Above pic from Christmas Day 2017; I was heading back out to work so we snapped a pic]
And somehow in the ins and outs of synchronicity and happenstance, that day before her birthday on November 30th, 2017, I began melding with The Beatles’ “Norwegian Wood”, again returning to that one refrain which bows me down until I remember that day of holding my baby, knowing (like not in my head but in my body; like a knowing stretching outside of “knowing”) that pooling around my experience was now the potential for every single bit of love and agony possible to have within one life.
For I had worried I wouldn’t love her as I did Julia; that was a real thing for me. I worried I’d never be able to rise to that level; Julia was my early baby, born 7 weeks before she was ready then hooked to IVs—“she might die; be blind, deaf; have disabilities”—and even before I left the hospital, I moved the mountain called “should I let my heart fully know her lest she die?” and had found it in me to love her with a passion that conquered the saddest parts of myself and floated through sterile, hushed corridors like magic, with air under my feet like a fairy. Like a rainbow. Like an angel.
And a mere 9 days later, she fought her way out of the hospital and into her room at 6348 Tisbury Drive, Burke, VA., the carpets for which I’d been cleaning that day my water had broken. May 16, 1998.
Julia was for me to love beyond fear; to love so big that I could not contain anything else and still be the same person. She was a present I could not imagine sharing; a Now moment of such sweetness I didn’t dare think of relinquishing it. I did not see a me that existed within something better than what I had.
But Life moves us into more beautiful homes of ourselves.
And on November 30th, 2000, Olivia Grace Plimpton was born at LDS Hospital, three weeks early—James rushing in seconds before her birth from a business trip (hospital staff telling him to park in the loading zone and run upstairs); my mom and 2 year old Julia at the hospital for the entire labor—and I held her, my baby, my second girl, and loved her in full knowledge of them both, and the agony pooled and the love became a planet, and she sang herself into me like that refrain, and I was there with her and everything changed.
For I once had a girl or, should I say, she once had me.