If I close my eyes, I can still hear his first cry. I can still see his Daddy’s smiling face looking down at me, and feel the surge of joy well up from within me and spill out in the happiest tears I’ve ever cried. He had made me a mother.
Then, the nurse brought a swaddled little bundle over to me and laid him in my arms, and a new emotion swept over me like a powerful tidal wave. Love? Yes, definitely love, but something else more unexpected – fear.
As I gazed into his precious face, his deep blue eyes peeking open just a sliver, I realized that I was holding my very heart in my hands. The potential to be hurt was immense. The implications were vast. To have my heart bound up into so fragile a package was a very vulnerable feeling indeed.
I brought him close to my face and kissed him. I drank in a breath of his hair and felt the sweet softness of his newborn skin, and in that moment I knew that I would never be the same. I was completely, hopelessly in love – not just with my baby – with Luke – with everything about him.
I didn’t know it at the time, but being Luke’s mommy – loving Luke – meant having a uniquely designed child. His challenges are a part of him – a part of who he is and of who he will become. To wish he were different would mean wishing for an entirely different child, and I would never want that. This is who God has planned for Luke to be, and Luke is the child I fell in love with on that afternoon in March.
Today, as I watch him go about his day with the carefree, giddiness that characterizes my four-year-old, I have to wonder which of us is more dependent. Which of us needs the other more? I think the smart money is on me.